Reassortment occurs when two different flu strains infect a cell simultaneously, and RNA from each recombine, forming a new combination with different surface proteins and to which there is little immunity.
It's great when your new knowledge for the day comes in such an easily-digestible chunk.
The same chunk caught my eye as well...
Now to apply this new knowledge: It seems that I need to modify my approach to avoiding flu -- previously, I would lick every doorknob that I encountered under the belief that all those different strains would be so busy fighting among themselves that they wouldn't get a chance to make me sick.
I guess that I shouldn't glean my medical information from cartoons.
Aaaaaagh! The pain! The pain!
S.O. just diagnosed with swine flu, or should I say pH1N1?
If you are a bit of an infectious disease obsessive like me.... the two best sources of information are:
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP)
University of Minnesota
And while I do not use it, the best current influenza info is at:
Somebody needs to create a Which Flu Are You? personality quiz.
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