Swine flu is an infection caused by a virus. It's named for a virus that pigs can get. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. In 2009 a strain of swine flu called H1N1 infected many people around the world.
The virus is contagious and can spread from human to human. Symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
There are antiviral medicines you can take to prevent or treat swine flu. There is a vaccine available to protect against swine flu. You can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza by
- Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. You can also use alcohol-based hand cleaners.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Trying to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Staying home from work or school if you are sick.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Influenza (Flu) Vaccine (Inactivated or Recombinant): What You Need to Know (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Available in Spanish
- Influenza (Flu) Vaccine (Live, Intranasal): What You Need to Know (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Available in Spanish
- Selecting Viruses for the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Available in Spanish
- Should I Get a Flu Shot? (American Cancer Society)
- Swine Influenza (Swine Flu) in Pigs (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Variant (Swine Origin) Influenza Viruses in Humans (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Available in Spanish
Health Check Tools
- Flu Checkup (DSHI Systems)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype (National Institutes of Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Influenza, Human (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Heterosubtypic immunity to H7N9 influenza virus in isogenic guinea pigs...
- Article: Novel reassortant human-like H3N2 and H3N1 influenza A viruses detected...
- Article: Cross-species infectivity of H3N8 influenza virus in an experimental infection...
- H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) -- see more articles
- H1N1 and Seasonal Flu: The "New" Flu and the "Old" Flu (American Medical Association) - PDF