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Published on 2 September 2009

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Swine flu stronger than other bugs

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Swine flu is less likely to mix with other flus to create a superbug, US researchers have said.

The virus, which is stronger than other flus and spreads faster, shows no signs of mixing with either of the two seasonal flu viruses to form a new bug, the University of Maryland team added.

Dr Anthony Fauci, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the study, which was conducted on ferrets, highlights the need for people to have the new swine flu vaccine.

Ferrets became sick after being infected with the 2009 H1N1 virus (swine flu) plus either seasonal H1N1 virus or seasonal H3N2 virus.

However, only the 2009 H1N1 virus spread to other ferrets, suggesting it will dominate ordinary flu.

Dr Fauci added: “The results suggest that 2009 H1N1 influenza may outcompete seasonal flu virus strains and may be more communicable as well.”

Copyright Press Association 2009

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases



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