The Swine flu originated in pigs. Prior to 2009, the virus only affected those who worked in close contact with pigs. In early 2009, the virus underwent a major mutation and now is spreading rapidly among the human population.
You can only catch a specific strain of influenza once. After you have had the disease, your body creates antibodies against it and makes you immune to the disease. When a virus mutates into a new strain like the swine flu, a worldwide flu pandemic is possible because people have not built up any immunity to this new mutated strain.
The symptoms are similar to other types of flu. Fever, cough, body aches and soreness, sore throat, headaches, fatigue, runny nose and chills are all common symptoms. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been some symptoms in certain victims. An unusually large percentage of otherwise healthy young people were killed by the disease in Mexico. For that reason, the swine flu is not something you should trivialize. It is a serious matter.
Swine flu is transmitted much like any other strain of influenza. For the most part, the virus is spread through the air by the coughing, sneezing, and breathing of infected individuals. Infection is also possible through indirect contact. That means that you can get the disease by handling objects that were touched by infected flu carriers.
One good way to protect you and your family is by using flu masks when you are out among people. Most flu masks worn by people are worthless. They are made of woven paper and are too porous to filter out tiny swine flu virus organizations. Effective flu masks is rated N 95 or better. If you use public transportation, flu masks can be an important piece of safety equipment to protect you if you are concerned about the safety of your family.