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Study finds H1N1 may be version of deadly 1918 flu

Study finds H1N1 may be version of deadly 1918 flu 16 Jun 2010 The 2009 H1N1 flu virus seems to be a milder version of the deadly 1918 Spanish flu, according to preliminary research released Tuesday. In very small studies involving 30 mice, rodents that were exposed to the 1918 flu after receiving a 2009 H1N1 vaccine did not get sick or die from the older virus. Four out of five mice that received a 2007 flu vaccine also survived exposure to the 1918 virus, which is believed to have killed 50 million people worldwide. [There's a reason for that. See: Gene From 1918 Virus Proves Key to Virulent Influenza (University of Wisconsin Press Release) 06 Oct 2004 "Using a gene resurrected from the virus that caused the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic, recorded history's most lethal outbreak of infectious disease, scientists have found that a single gene may have been responsible for the devastating virulence of the virus. Writing Oct. 7 in the journal Nature, virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Tokyo, describes experiments in which engineered viruses were made more potent by the addition of a single gene... Using a comparatively mild form of influenza A virus as a template, Kawaoka's team added the two 1918 genes that code for hemagglutinin and neuraminidase and infected mice with the engineered viruses."]