- When is Swine Flu Human Flu?
- April 28th, 2009
It's a nightmare trying to Google decent information on swine flu right now. SO. I beseech thee, holy intarwebs! Hear my query!
In avian flu, the key "antigenic shift" that can rearrange a poultry-to-poultry flu virus into a poultry-to-human virus (or human-to-human flu virus) occurs, typically, when there is prolonged contact between birds and humans. That's why there was so much attention paid to Indonesia over the last few years, because there is a cultural predisposition for owning flocks of chickens in that country.
Is it the same thing with swine flu? Is it contact between pigs and humans? Or does the shift happen solely among pigs and the humans are irrelevant? What are the prime conditions under which there might be an antigenic shift in pig-to-pig swine flu, making it into a human friendly virus?