News FocusInfectious Disease

Chasing the Fickle Swine Flu

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Science  07 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5612, pp. 1502-1505
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5612.1502

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After years of stability, the North American swine flu virus has jumped onto an evolutionary fast track, churning out variants every year. Changes in animal husbandry, including increased vaccination, may be spurring this evolutionary surge. And if one of this slew of swine strains gains the ability to spread among people--as has apparently happened at least twice before--the consequences could be deadly.