What are the Causes of Swine Flu?

There aren’t really multiple causes of swine flu. Instead, swine flu is caused by an influenza virus that invades the body through the nose, eyes, and mouth. Often, however, people discuss causes of swine flu in terms of the ways a person contracts the virus. These include inhaling droplets of the virus that are in the air after a person has sneezed or coughed and picking the invisible virus up on one’s hand and then touching one’s mouth, nose, and eyes. Likewise, sharing eating utensils may lead to the transmission of the live virus.

Swine flu is a type of respiratory illness that was first recognized as a flu illness in 2009. People often discuss the causes of swine flu, though there is really only one. This is a type of influenza virus called 2009 H1N1. This virus is called swine flu because it was thought to be similar to viruses normally found in pigs in North America. In fact, however, it has genes from flu viruses found in pigs that are raised in Asia and Europe as well as genes from bird and human flu viruses.


Sometimes people discuss the ways the swine flu makes its way into a person’s body as the causes of swine flu. Though this isn’t strictly correct, these ways do account for the transmission of the virus. For example, a common route of transmission is the air. When a person who has been infected with the virus responsible for swine flu coughs or sneezes, droplets containing the virus make their way into the air. Then, another party inhales these droplets unknowingly and may contract swine flu after a relatively short incubation period.

The hands are also among the transmission sources when it comes to contracting swine flu. A person may touch a door knob, handle, or countertop on which the invisible virus rests. Then, this person may go on to eat or touch his mouth, nose, or eyes. As with the airborne droplets, this exposure can result in the development of the swine flu after a short incubation period. Sharing eating utensils could possibly lead to the transmission of the virus as well.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent swine flu. The most effective way is through vaccination. Other ways include frequent hand washing and avoiding those who have the flu. When a person must take care of an ill family member or friend, frequent hand washing and disposing of used tissues without touching them may help.



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