How Does Swine Flu Virus Spread? One virus can make millions of new viruses inside a human cell. Watch NPR's Robert Krulwich explain how that happens.
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How Does Swine Flu Virus Spread?

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How Does Swine Flu Virus Spread?

How Does Swine Flu Virus Spread?

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ROBERT KRULWICH: Hi, I'm Robert Krulwich, and to keep this story going: with more schools closed now and so many kids at home, the obvious intention here is to keep the virus from spreading further because that's what viruses do, they spread any way they can.

(Soundbite of sneeze)

KRULWICH: Yeah, that's one way. A sneeze puts lots of virus in the air where it can go up somebody's nose, down to the throat, and we thought it might be fascinating for you to see in rich, detailed, moving color what happens when a virus lands on one of your throat cells, uses a chemical key to break into your cell...

(Soundbite of door opening)

KRULWICH: ...slips down through the membrane...

(Soundbite of machine)

KRULWICH: And takes over the manufacturing apparatus at the heart of your cell to make a million new viruses. So, with help from the Zirus Research Company, we've made a video - it's very short - which lets you watch the virus attack you and then shows how your immune system...

(Soundbite of spitting)

KRULWICH: ...fights back. You got to see what that immune cell looks like. To do that, you just have to go to npr.org/health.

BLOCK: That's NPR's Robert Krulwich.

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