Coloured TEM of swine influenza virions. Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses. This H1N1 strain also contains genetic material from bird and human influenza viruses and is able to spread from human to human. These characteristics give the virus potential to cause a pandemic. Symptoms are similar to those of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.