‘First flu’ affects lifetime risk

A person’s chances of falling ill from a new strain of flu are at least partly determined by the first strain they ever encountered, a study suggests.


Research in Science journal looked at the 18 strains of influenza A and the hemagglutinin protein on its surface.

They say there are only two types of this protein and people are protected from the one their body meets first, but at risk from the other one.

A UK expert said that could explain different patterns in flu pandemics.