Until 1957, the different strains of seasonal flu were weaker descendants of the 1918 Spanish Flu. In 1957, the Asian Flu became the dominant kind of flu (and was later replaced by the Hong Kong Flu in 1968). Because the Swine Flu is more closely related to the Spanish Flu, people who were born before 1957 have more resistance to the Swine Flu.
Confirming the first impressions of many American and Mexican doctors, federal health officials said on Wednesday that people born before 1957 appear to have some immunity to the swine flu virus now circulating.
Tests on blood serum from older people showed that they had antibodies that attacked the new virus, Dr. Daniel Jernigan, chief flu epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a telephone news conference.