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Information on Swine Influenza/Variant Influenza Viruses

Swine influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that regularly cause outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Influenza viruses that commonly circulate in swine are called “swine influenza viruses” or “swine flu viruses.” Like human influenza viruses, there are different subtypes and strains of swine influenza viruses. The main swine influenza viruses circulating in U.S. pigs in recent years are:

  • swine triple reassortant (tr) H1N1 influenza virus
  • trH3N2 virus
  • trH1N2 virus

Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with swine influenza viruses have occurred. When this happens, these viruses are called “variant viruses.” They also can be denoted by adding the letter “v” to the end of the virus subtype designation. Human infections with H1N1v, H3N2v and H1N2v viruses have been detected in the United States.

The links below offer key information for different audiences about swine influenza in pigs and variant influenza virus infections in humans.

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