What is swine flu? What is the incubation period for swine flu, how contagious is it and how beneficial and effective is the h1n1 flu shot?
H1N1 . H1n1 (swine flu) is a new strain of influenza first recognized in april 2009. Several human and animal strains of influenza virus recombined into a new strain. It spread worldwide in 2009, and is expected to still be circulating in 2010-2011. The incubation period of h1n1 is similar to other strains: one to four days, with an average to two days. It is contagious starting one day before symptoms appear, and for five to seven days after becoming sick. H1n1 influenza is somewhat more contagious than other strains, which is why many infections in 2009 occurred outside the typical "flu season." the 2009 h1n1 flu shot was "new" in that it was the first vaccine for this strain. However, it was made the same way as flu vaccines used for decades. Studies of the vaccine's safety confirmed it was very similar to seasonal flu vaccines. Most years, flu vaccines are 70-90% effective in preventing the flu in healthy adults. They may be less in children and the elderly. This is also true of the h1n1 vaccine. The above numbers are for protection against developing the flu at all. Flu vaccines prevent life-threatening complications in nearly all people who receive the vaccine. If you get the flu despite the vaccine, it will be less severe. The h1n1 influenza strain is part of the 2010-2011 seasonal flu vaccine. You should still get the vaccine this year, even if you received the h1n1 vaccine last year. Immunity fades over time, and last year's h1n1 vaccine will not protect you against other strains circulating this year. Flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.