swine flu


: swine influenza
also : influenza A of humans that is caused by a different strain of an orthomyxovirus subtype (H1N1) from those found in swine and that is marked especially by fever, sore throat, cough, chills, body aches, fatigue, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Antiviral medications were released from the stockpile more than a decade ago during the H1N1, also known as swine flu, pandemic. Amanda Seitz, Chicago Tribune, 23 Dec. 2022 This seems to be a very different situation from the avian flu and the swine flu, where birds and pigs, respectively, can become infected with and carry particular strains of the influenza virus. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 26 Aug. 2022 At seventy-nine, Fauci has run the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for thirty-six years, through six Administrations and a long procession of viral epidemics: H.I.V., SARS, avian influenza, swine flu, Zika, and Ebola among them. Benjamin Wallace-well, The New Yorker, 12 Aug. 2021 All the while, he’s continually tried to redirect public attention towards how Obama handled swine flu, which only amounted to about 12,000 deaths in the U.S., compared to coronavirus' 200,000. Elly Belle, refinery29.com, 22 Sep. 2020 In 1976, scientists predicted a pandemic of a new strain of influenza called swine flu. Jen Christensen, CNN, 1 Sep. 2020 Some are patently self-explanatory: swine flu, bird flu, or mad cow disease. Angus Chen, Discover Magazine, 2 Dec. 2014 When the researchers infected the human tissue first with the rhinovirus and then with swine flu, interferon prevented the flu from getting a foothold. Amber Dance, USA TODAY, 21 Jan. 2023 There are several specific reasons why China is worried about food scarcity: floods and droughts, growing tensions with food exporters such as the US and Australia, and the mass culling of millions of pigs from last year’s outbreak of swine flu, have all taken their toll. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, 10 Sep. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'swine flu.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1919, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of swine flu was in 1919

Dictionary Entries Near swine flu

Cite this Entry

“Swine flu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swine%20flu. Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition

swine flu

: swine influenza
also : influenza of humans that is caused by a subtype (H1N1) of an orthomyxovirus (species Influenza A virus of the genus Influenzavirus A) originating in swine and is marked especially by fever, sore throat, cough, chills, body aches, fatigue, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
Among the swine flu cases in the United States, none had had any contact with pigs … Marc Lacey and Donald G. McNeil Jr., The New York Times
As swine flu spreads from person to person around the world, it is most often being transmitted by coughing or sneezing … Laura Landro, The Wall Street Journal

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