WORLDPOST
05/27/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Swine Flu: Science Races To Parse New Virus

Avian flu and SARS rudely awoke the world to the possibility of a new pandemic. Could a seemingly more mundane bug now put the world to the test?

The swine flu virus that may have killed more than 80 people in Mexico and appears to have sickened hundreds more is still a mystery contagion. But this much is known: The virus is unusually made up of genetic material from avian, pig and human viruses; it can transmit from person to person; and in many people, it only triggers mild symptoms seen in garden-variety influenza.

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