May 20, 2009

H1N1 flu virus, explained.

Wasn't it called the Swine Flu before someone decided to change it because some people were getting confused and thinking that the flu infection came as a result of eating pork?

What does “H1N1” stand for?

Influenza A is the most common genus of the influenza virus. H1N1 is one of four main influenza A virus subtypes that have been isolated in pigs and is the subtype determined to be causing the current outbreak in humans. The H1N1 designation describes proteins on the surface of the virus. “H1” indicates that the virus has a hemagglutinin protein—which allows the virus to attach to human cells—of type one. “N1” indicates that the virus has a neuraminidase protein—which allows newly synthesized viruses to detach from the cells and spread—of type one.

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