CSIC virologists unravel mystery of human swine flu

Swine influenza is an acute upper respiratory disease characterized by Fever, lethargy, anorexia, weight loss, and difficulty breathing. Coughing, sneezing, and runny nose are common; conjunctivitis, on the other hand, is a less common clinical symptom. It can also cause miscarriage.

International agencies have repeatedly reported the first cases of swine flu infection. in humans, presenting it as something new and unusual. Recently, however, virologists and researchers from the Animal Health Research Center (CISA) of the National Institute of Agricultural and Food Research Technology (INIA-CSIC), Aito Nogalesdemystified this idea, noting that human transmission of this type of influenza is not uncommon but is often associated with common influenza strains.

“It is not uncommon for swine flu viruses to infect humans.” The researchers noted that many cases were not detected “because they were asymptomatic or because biosurveillance efforts were not carried out” and were not detected, but “this is not surprising.” He explained in an interview published by the Superior Council for Scientific Research (CSIC): “Typically, this infection is asymptomatic, or causes the same symptoms as the common flu, and is not usually spread from person to person. , or the transmission efficiency is very low.”).

Regarding the influenza that mainly occurs in pigs, experts said that this is because, due to the biological characteristics of pigs, “they are easily infected by different types of influenza viruses, human influenza viruses, avian influenza viruses, etc.” “Therefore, the risk is that they become intermediate hosts, and different viruses may appear in them at the same time, which favors the emergence of new variants. Ultimately, they may also lead to the formation of new viruses with pandemic potential… as happened in 2009 That,” he added.

“They could also lead to the formation of a new virus with pandemic potential, as happened in 2009”

When asked whether the human flu vaccine could protect against swine flu viruses, the virologist said it “should be evaluated” because “seasonal human flu vaccines are reformulated every year, so laboratory testing should be done to verify their effectiveness in pigs.” Effectiveness of Influenza Viruses.” Swine virus”.

“However, it is thought to provide partial protection. In fact, vaccination against seasonal influenza is one of the recommendations for people who work with pigs and poultry. This is for two reasons, the first being just in case they can Protector even partially; the second is to prevent workers from becoming victims Transmitting different viruses to pigs For pigs, this could represent a risk of new variants emerging,” he explained.

To protect workers from pig farm For swine flu, virologists recommend that in addition to receiving seasonal influenza vaccination, “respect farm biosecurity measures such as disinfection, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), hand washing, etc.”

“All these measures are extremely important because they protect not only against influenza but also against many other pathogens. They provide protection in both directions: from animals to humans and from humans to animals,” he concluded.

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