Swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus, is a relatively new strain of an influenza virus that causes symptoms similar to the regular flu. It originated in pigs but is spread primarily from person to person.
Swine flu made headlines in 2009 when it was first discovered in humans and became a pandemic. Pandemics are contagious diseases affecting people throughout the world or on multiple continents at the same time.
The declared the H1N1 pandemic over in August 2010. Since then, the H1N1 virus has been known as a regular human flu virus. It continues to spread during flu season like other strains of the flu. The flu shot developed each year by the usually includes a vaccination against a type of H1N1 virus.
Read more: Importance of getting a flu shot for flu season »
Like other strains of the flu, H1N1 is highly contagious, allowing it to spread quickly from person to person. A simple sneeze can cause thousands of germs to spread through the air. The virus can linger on tables and surface areas like door knobs, waiting to be picked up.
The best means of dealing with swine flu is to prevent it. Hand sanitization is important to stop the spread of the virus. Staying away from infected people will help stop person-to-person transmission.
Start sanitizing now.