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An early analysis of the H1N1 swine-associated flu virus outbreak suggests that the virus spreads at a rate comparable to that of previous influenza pandemics. The results, published online today by Science and compiled by the World Health Organization Rapid Pandemic Assessment Collaboration, support the designation of swine flu as a pandemic but also indicate

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Background and Current Information

Out of the blue, a novel influenza virus has emerged in Mexico. The virus seems to have been born from the combination of at least two pig viruses, that themselves carried gene segments that originated in viruses of other species such as birds or humans.

This new virus, although dubbed “swine flu”, has not been identified from pigs in Mexico, nor is it caught directly from pigs, but has the ability to infect and transmit efficiently between humans. Read more…

The strain in most cases causes only mild symptoms and the infected person makes a full recovery without requiring medical attention and without the use of antiviral medications.

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