What are the Causes of Swine Flu?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Swine flu is a type of influenza that may pass from pigs to humans.
Swine flu is a type of influenza that may pass from pigs to humans.

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 passed from person to person through coughing or sneezing.
Swine flu is passed from person to person through coughing or sneezing.

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.

H1N1 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.
H1N1 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.

Swine flu in adults is often initially mistaken for a severe seasonal flu.
Swine flu in adults is often initially mistaken for a severe seasonal flu.

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.

Preventing swine flu in children is particularly challenging.
Preventing swine flu in children is particularly challenging.

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.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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    • Swine flu is a type of influenza that may pass from pigs to humans.
      By: Anatolii
      Swine flu is a type of influenza that may pass from pigs to humans.
    • Swine flu is passed from person to person through coughing or sneezing.
      By: leungchopan
      Swine flu is passed from person to person through coughing or sneezing.
    • H1N1 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.
      By: Yang MingQi
      H1N1 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.
    • Swine flu in adults is often initially mistaken for a severe seasonal flu.
      By: emde71
      Swine flu in adults is often initially mistaken for a severe seasonal flu.
    • Preventing swine flu in children is particularly challenging.
      By: Zsolt Biczó
      Preventing swine flu in children is particularly challenging.
    • Pregnant women are more susceptible to contracting the swine flu.
      By: Tatyana Gladskih
      Pregnant women are more susceptible to contracting the swine flu.
    • Swine flu may cause a fever and stomach ache.
      By: michaeljung
      Swine flu may cause a fever and stomach ache.