The current Swine Flu, so named because the attachment surface is from the Swine Flu, also contains both human and bird flu segments. The cell death gene found in the 1918 pandemic and in the 1957 pandemic was not present in the current swine flu strain. If it acquires this gene and still has the very efficient attachment surface deep in our lungs in contrast to season flu which occurs in the upper respiratory track, we can expect a sharp jump in deaths. Let's hope this does not happen.
Even though the seasonal flu this year is the same as last year, it is prudent to get it anyway as the excerpted comment below indicates.
Jim Kawakami, Sept 1, 2009, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com Health, Finance, and General Topics of Interest
Swine Flu Spreads More Easily than Seasonal Flu in Ferrets through Nasal contact and Breathing. Bloomberg Sept 2, 2009 By Rob Waters ... “The good news” is that swine flu “is unlikely to recombine with seasonal flu to create a super bug, a more virulent strain,” Perez said in a telephone interview today. “The bad news is that it will be highly transmissible and we should be aware that we do need to vaccinate against this virus to prevent its spread.”...
Swine flu, also known as H1N1, outperformed two strains of seasonal influenza by replicating more extensively within the animals, the researchers from University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, found. Other ferrets exposed to the infected animals developed flu symptoms and elevated levels of swine flu.
Perez and his team conducted their experiment in four groups of animals. In each group, one ferret was given a nasal spray containing the H1N1 virus and another seasonal flu strain. Another ferret was placed in the same cage and a third was put next door, on the other side of a wire mesh, so it breathed the same air. ...
All 12 ferrets developed symptoms. Some of the animals that were infected with both the swine flu and a seasonal flu variant known as H3N2 developed diarrhea and weight loss as well as respiratory symptoms, the researchers found.“ ... http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601124&sid=abUyEKXzsSJc