WOODS HOLE, Mass., May 20 (UPI) — U.S. scientists say they’ve found the ability to mount an immune response to the H1N1, or swine flu, virus is significantly compromised by arsenic exposure.

Researchers at the Marine Biological Laboratory and Dartmouth Medical School said such arsenic exposure can commonly occur through drinking contaminated well water.

The researchers, led by Joshua Hamilton, the laboratory’s chief academic and scientific officer, and Dartmouth graduate student Courtney Kozul, said when a normal person or mouse is infected with the flu, they immediately develop an immune response, in which immune cells rush to the lungs and produce chemicals that help fight the infection.

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