Researchers watch for next flu strain


While we're all getting over the flu -- or still trying to avoid it, researchers are watching for the next strain that could make us sick.

Scientists at Kansas State University in collaboration with scientists at St. Jude's in Memphis are watching for novel influenza strains.

That's types that have mutated into a never-before-seen kind of flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that two people have gotten sick from novel influenza A strains this flu season. Both have fully recovered.

The K-State researchers are monitoring swine influenza, which can sometimes be transmitted to humans.

"We hope that we are early on -- if something new happens, that we early on isolate and characterize this virus so we can alert the respective authorities to control and eradicate as soon as possible," said Dr. Juergen Richt, K-State researcher.

The CDC reports that both people that were infected with novel influenza A this season did have contact with pigs.