Field of Science

Swine Flu and SUPER immunity?

Yesterday I came across a report by the BBC saying that;

"People who recover from swine flu may be left with an extraordinary natural ability to fight off flu viruses."

Perhaps 'super immunity' is the wrong phrase, as it's unlikely that this ability is going to make us all super human so we can all fly around the place like superman. However if these findings (Journal of experimental medicine) are true then it could mean, if you recover from swine flu then you could be less likely to get other flu viruses.
H1N1 (swine flu) taken from the 'health protection agency' http://www.hpa.org.uk
This is due to the body producing antibodies against the H1N1 strain (swine flu) that can also kill other flu strains. This is all good but does this all mean we should go and catch swine flu? No. It means this information could be used to create a universal vaccine in the future (what all flu scientists want!).

The study tested 5 antibodies produced in patients who had recovered from swine flu and they were found to have a brilliant fighting effect against all the seasonal H1N1 strains of the last decade, 'Spanish flu' and H5N1 (bird flu). This is great news as these antibodies can protect against seasonal flu strains, the next step for these researchers is to see whether those who got the 'swine flu vaccine' are also 'super immune'.


The number of deaths this winter from flu verified by the Health Protection Agency currently is 50, with 45 of these due to swine flu (the most common strain at present in the community)

References
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12152500
http://www.hpa.org.uk

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