So what’s new with the swine flu?

Well, 2 studies (One conducted by the U.S. and one conducted by the Netherlands) involving ferrets found that the swine flu is more severe than the usual seasonal flu.  Among the findings:

The H1N1 swine flu virus went further into the ferrets’ lungs, and also penetrated the gastrointestinal tract while seasonal flu stayed in the nasal cavity.

“When they examined the transmissibility of the virus, the two groups found conflicting evidence.” The Netherlands group…”who used a strain of swine flu taken from the first person infected in the Netherlands, said ferrets passed it to each other through the air as easily as seasonal flu.”

“The U.S. researchers…said the ferrets in their study didn’t transmit the swine flu strains they used, taken from patients in California, Texas and Mexico, as efficiently as seasonal flu strains.”

For reference, here is a cute picture of a ferret.

For reference, here is a cute picture of a ferret.

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