Like all other types of influenza, swine flu is also caused by a virus. This virus is similar to the one that causes cold, gastroenteritis and the viral flu which are very common diseases. In case of swine flu, the virus which causes it has originated from pigs and managed to cross the species boundary and infect humans.
Initially swine flu was believed to affect only the pigs where they would spread the disease from one pig to another through direct contact or through coughing or sneezing, but since humans and pigs are similar in the physiological sense, some microbe that affect pigs have the ability to change themselves into strains that can infect humans and thus, swine flu is believed to have started getting transmitted to humans also. Not only this, it can also act the other way where the humans can also transmit the disease back to the pigs. Swine flu gets transmitted to the humans in the same way as it gets transmitted among pigs i.e. by direct contact or through coughing, sneezing etc.
The swine flu outbreak of 2009 has strains of viruses of pig flu as well as bird flu and this is what makes it difficult for a vaccine to be made for this virus. It is important for farmers who work with pigs and poultry to be doubly sure of hygiene to avoid catching or transmitting the swine flu. It is a good idea to pay attention to good personal hygiene which would include washing hands and disinfecting the house regularly.
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