Study: 1918 Flu Survivors Immune to H1N1

** FILE ** Influenza victims crowd into an emergency hospital near Fort Riley, Kansas in this 1918 file photo. The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic killed at least 20 million people worldwide and officials say that if the next pandemic resemblers the birdlike 1918 Spanish flu, to 1.9 million Americans could die. (AP Photo/National Museum of Health)
AP (file)
A new study finds that the way swine flu multiplies in the respiratory system is more severe than ordinary winter flu.

Tests in monkeys, mice and ferrets show that the swine flu thrives in greater numbers all over the respiratory system, including the lungs, and causes lesions, instead of staying in the head like seasonal flu.

In addition, blood tests show that many survivors of the 1918 flu pandemic seem to have immunity to the current swine flu, but not to the seasonal flu that hits every year.

Those were findings from a study by a top University of Wisconsin flu researcher that was released Monday and will be published in the journal Nature.

The researcher, Yoshihiro Kawaoka, said he is more concerned about swine flu because of these results.

For more info:

  • In vitro and in vivo characterization of new swine-origin H1N1 influenza viruses (Nature)