Swine Flu: Shots, Germy Kids and Other Questions

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Jessica Synder Sachs on Nov 3, 2009 at 11:37AM

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Swine Flu: Shots, Germy Kids and Other Questions

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Why Is It Named After Pigs?

iVillagers have a lot of concerns about this year’s flu pandemic, so we asked NBC Medical Director Tanya Benenson, M.D., to answer some common questions.

Question: Why are they calling it "swine flu" if it doesn't come from swine?

Dr. Tanya: When researchers first started studying this H1N1 strain, they discovered genes in common with influenza viruses that infect pigs. But as it turned out, this virus also has genetic elements from bird and human influenzas. The term “swine flu” simply stuck with the popular media.

Jessica Synder Sachs

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