As is the case with any quickly developing situation with serious health implications, the emergence of swine flu has been ushered into public consciousness with equal parts fear, misunderstanding and misinformation.
Swine flu (which has been officially christened novel H1N1 or 2009 H1N1 flu) caught health officials off-guard as much as it did the public. In the early days and weeks of the virus, it seemed to spread faster than solid information about it did. It was easy to be confused by the sometimes contradictory reports — we heard that it was something to be very alarmed about, yet few people who caught the virus were seriously affected by it.
Also, no one was able to say for certain how this virus came to infect humans in the first place. Not helping matters was its somewhat unfortunate name. What better way, after all, to prevent swine flu than to avoid pigs and pork products? It sounds reasonable, but many myths do.
Read on to learn the truth behind five myths about swine flu, starting with a closer look at that pulled pork sandwich you’ve been avoiding lately.