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Fact of the Day: Wednesday, October 27

Is the H1N1 swine flu virus in pigs the same as human H1N1 viruses?

No. The H1N1 swine flu viruses are antigenically very different from human H1N1 viruses.  The human H1N1 virus is also different from the season flu and, therefore, vaccines for human seasonal flu will not provide protection from H1N1  flu viruses.

More info about the flu viruses:

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) There are three main types of influenza viruses: A, B and C.  Influenza C infections are mild respiratory infections and are not thought to be involved in flu epidemics.  Both types A and B are responsible for the seasonal flu epidemics each year.  The emergence of a new influenza virus can cause an influenza pandemic, which is the case with this year’s H1N1 virus, which is a sub-type of Influenza A.  According to the CDC, last week Influenza B viruses circulated at low levels with much higher levels of Influenza A.   All sub-typed influenza A viruses reported to CDC last week were 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses.