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New Virus, Old Tale: Animals Share Bugs With Us

Somewhere out there, somewhere along the way, a single creature got all this started. A pig, presumably. Pig Zero.

Scientists suspect that two influenza viruses common in swine, one rooted in Eurasia and the other in North America, came together in a single cell within a pig. The two viruses exchanged their genes like a couple of kids swapping school clothes. The result was a novel strain of virus, with, according to scientists, two genes from the Eurasian virus and six genes from the North American virus.

The new strain then jumped to humans. Where is unknown. Mexico is a possibility, but so far the virus hasn't been found in any Mexican swine.
 
 

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