New Swine Flu Virus Shows Lethal Signs
An influenza virus isolated from Korean pigs is deadly and transmissible by air in ferrets, which are used as stand-ins for humans when studying the disease.
This particular virus is likely not a grave threat to humans, said study researcher Richard Webby, a virologist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. However, the findings do highlight the need to understand more about the viruses circulating among pigs, Webby said.
"We've identified a couple of mutations that seem to be important for swine viruses and potentially increase their risk to humans," Webby told LiveScience. "The more of those type markers we can find, the better our surveillance and the more informative our surveillance can be."
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