Skip to main content
Special Report

A Guide to Swine Flu

As swine influenza reaches the U.S., a guide to what you need to know and what happens next. Plus, a look at pandemics past

  • April 27, 2009

WHO hikes pandemic alert to phase 4 on swine flu fears

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the influenza pandemic alert level to phase 4, just two steps shy of a global pandemic alert, according to Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's assistant director-general for health security and environment.

April 27, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne
How to Prevent the Next Pandemic

How to Prevent the Next Pandemic

An international network for monitoring the flow of viruses from animals to humans might help scientists head off global epidemics

April 1, 2009 — Nathan Wolfe
How to Clip Bird Flu's Wings

How to Clip Bird Flu's Wings

The best way to beat bird flu and other zoonotic diseases is to keep humans and wildlife healthy

April 23, 2008 — David Biello
Killer Resurrected

Killer Resurrected

U.S. military researcher uncovers clues about 1918 pandemic flu virus

April 27, 2009 — Christine Soares

Worried about the flu? Get a mask

You can cut your risk of contracting the flu or other respiratory viruses by as much as 80 percent by wearing a mask over your nose and mouth, according to a new study.

January 26, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne
Preparing for a Pandemic

Preparing for a Pandemic

One day a highly contagious and lethal strain of influenza will sweep across all humanity, claiming millions of lives. It may arrive in months or not for years--but the next pandemic is inevitable. Are we ready?

November 1, 2005 — W. Wayt Gibbs and Christine Soares

Google Flu Trends: Your own disease tracker

Want to know how bad the flu is in your state? Ask Google .

The all-knowing search engine has a new tool, Google Flu Trends, that estimates U.S.

November 12, 2008 — Jordan Lite

1918 Flu Antibodies Alive and Well

Extremely elderly survivors of the 1918 flu pandemic still have active antibodies that recognize that virus. Karen Hopkin reports

August 19, 2008
Capturing a Killer Flu Virus

Capturing a Killer Flu Virus

The deadliest flu strain in history has been resurrected. What can the 1918 virus reveal about why it killed millions and where more like it may be lurking?

April 27, 2009 — Jeffery K. Taubenberger, Ann H. Reid and Thomas G. Fanning
Cooping Up Avian Flu

Cooping Up Avian Flu

Buying time to arm for a pandemic is possible--maybe

April 25, 2005 — Christine Soares

First, pork invades Washington, then superbugs invade pork

Evidently, pork isn’t just a problem when it shows up in stimulus package bills or because pigs smell. It may also land you in the hospital.

That’s the message of a Nicholas Kristof column in today’s New York Times about the dawning realization that pigs around the world often harbor antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria.

March 12, 2009 — Adam Hadhazy

Humidity Helps Fight Flu

In a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that high absolute humidity can help kill flu virus particles in a given environment. Adam Hinterthuer reports

February 10, 2009

Could a mild flu pandemic prevent a more deadly one?

A mild first wave of flu pandemic could reduce deaths from a future outbreak of more severe infection, a new analysis suggests.

A review of the effects of the 1918 flu pandemic on American soldiers and British sailors and civilians found that people who were infected during the first, milder spring and summer wave had a 35 percent to 94 percent lower risk of catching the more severe strain than those who weren't infected earlier.

October 20, 2008 — Jordan Lite

Canadian bacon: Pigs in Canada sick with swine flu

Last Friday, we reported on Egypt's recent attempt to curb transmission of the human H1N1 epidemic by butchering all 300,000 of its pigs. Experts we interviewed said there was no sound rationale for such a move, because pigs had never been infected with the new virus, which has sickened at least 1085 people in 21 countries – until now.

May 4, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne

Swine flu kills child in Texas

A 22-month-old boy has died in Houston from swine flu as the outbreak continues to expand in the U.S. and abroad, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports today.

April 29, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne