8 doctors weighed in:

Are there different strains of the flu?

8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Roy Benaroch
Pediatrics
4 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

Influenza viruses are first categorized as "a" or "b" (a tends to cause more-severe illness), but even among those groups there are many strains, often identified by h<#>n<#> (eg last year's new "swine flu" was officially called "novel-h1n1".
) though some strains predominate for a few years in a row, multiple strains circulate each season.

In brief: Yes

Influenza viruses are first categorized as "a" or "b" (a tends to cause more-severe illness), but even among those groups there are many strains, often identified by h<#>n<#> (eg last year's new "swine flu" was officially called "novel-h1n1".
) though some strains predominate for a few years in a row, multiple strains circulate each season.
Dr. Roy Benaroch
Dr. Roy Benaroch
Thank
Dr. Jeffrey Min
Pediatrics
4 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

Influenza virus comes in two major types, a and b.
Each type has different serotypes (characterized by antibody response to proteins on their surface- hemagglutinin (ha) and neuraminidase (na)), and the names include whatever those proteins on the surface are such as influenza a h1n1 or h3n2 (as an example).

In brief: Yes

Influenza virus comes in two major types, a and b.
Each type has different serotypes (characterized by antibody response to proteins on their surface- hemagglutinin (ha) and neuraminidase (na)), and the names include whatever those proteins on the surface are such as influenza a h1n1 or h3n2 (as an example).
Dr. Jeffrey Min
Dr. Jeffrey Min
Thank
Dr. Michael Amster
Pediatrics

In brief: Yes

In the news we've heard of a number of different types of the flu: the "swine" flu, the "avian" flu, the "spanish" flu, etc.
Strains of flu are designated based on the h portion and the n portion, two genetically determined units of the influenza virus (ex h1n1 is the "swine flu"). These can mix and match to make new strains, or alter entirely. The flu vaccine has 3 common strains for that year.

In brief: Yes

In the news we've heard of a number of different types of the flu: the "swine" flu, the "avian" flu, the "spanish" flu, etc.
Strains of flu are designated based on the h portion and the n portion, two genetically determined units of the influenza virus (ex h1n1 is the "swine flu"). These can mix and match to make new strains, or alter entirely. The flu vaccine has 3 common strains for that year.
Dr. Michael Amster
Dr. Michael Amster
Thank
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