What is Swine Flu? Why is it so virulent? How did it move from pigs to human? We thought these were interesting questions so we did some digging and got some answers.
The "flu" is caused by the influenza virus. Viruses are strands of DNA or RNA molecules that can take over a cell's machinery and instruct it to make more of itself. By making its "host" sick (sneezing, coughing, etc...) it can spread itself so it can continue to replicate.
There have been three flu pandemics in the past century: the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed more than 50 million people worldwide, the Asian Flu of 1959 claimed around 2 million, and the Hong Kong Flu of 1968-69 that brought down over 750,000.
What is Swine Flu? Swine flu is a type of virus that normally just infects pigs. Pigs are actually genetically very close to humans. It is the reason why insulin made by pigs can be used by humans. It is also why a virus which can infect pigs can mutate slightly and be able to infect people. The best way to stop the spread of the virus? If you are sick, stay home. If you are well, stay home. [Permalink]- What is Swine Flu