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Where do influenza viruses originate and how do they mutate?

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Most influenza viruses that infect humans seem to originate in parts of Asia, where close contact between livestock and people creates a hospitable environment for mutation and transmission of viruses. Swine, or pigs, can catch both avian (meaning from birds, such as poultry) and human forms of a virus and act as hosts for these different viral strains to meet and mutate into new forms. The swine then transmit the new form of the virus to people in the same way in which people infect each other -- by transmitting viruses through droplets in the air that people breathe in.

From: What Is the Flu? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Flu (Influenza): Symptoms."

CDC: "Key facts about seasonal Influenza (Flu)," "Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States: CDC Study Confirms Variability of Flu."

National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Influenza and the Flu Vaccine."

American Lung Association: "Cold and Flu Guidelines: Influenza."

FDA/CFAN: "What consumers need to know about avian influenza."

American Lung Association: "Myths and Facts About the Flu and Colds."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on January 24, 2018

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Flu (Influenza): Symptoms."

CDC: "Key facts about seasonal Influenza (Flu)," "Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States: CDC Study Confirms Variability of Flu."

National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Influenza and the Flu Vaccine."

American Lung Association: "Cold and Flu Guidelines: Influenza."

FDA/CFAN: "What consumers need to know about avian influenza."

American Lung Association: "Myths and Facts About the Flu and Colds."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on January 24, 2018

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