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Swine flu: Complete coverage

The swine flu H1N1 virus is the second known triple-hybrid swine pathogen in history, a concoction of swine, human and bird genetic components to which people have no immunity. It is also the first triple-hybrid to make the leap from pigs to humans.

Unlike with avian flu, which people can get only through close contact with a sick bird or feces, this strain of swine flu has learned the trick of seasonal influenza and can be passed person-to-person easily.

Charlie Houley, 8, receives a shot of a

Charlie Houley, 8, receives a shot of a trial vaccine for the swine flu from a nurse in Annapolis, Md. (Aug. 27, 2009) Credit: AP