How researchers tracked the origins of swine flu


The swine influenza strain that spilled over to humans and caused a pandemic in 2009 had some hallmarks of a lab-made virus, but careful study of genetic data from swine influenza viruses routinely collected by veterinarians in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia confirmed that the virus was naturally occurring. An international coalition of scientists subsequently discovered that the virus had been transmitted from pigs to humans to pigs, and countries that export many pigs act as sources for swine influenza while large importers act as sinks.

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