Friday, July 10, 2009

Report: Pigs at risk from people

From Reuters:

There is a growing risk that pigs will catch the new H1N1 flu strain -- commonly known as swine flu -- from humans, German researchers said on Thursday.

Widespread transmission from people to pigs could mix up virus strains further, leading to unpredictable changes in the disease.

There have already been a handful of suspected cases of humans passing the current pandemic H1N1 virus to swine. The latest German research confirms it is infectious to pigs and can spread rapidly.

The researchers' findings are consistent with what we've been hearing from producers for the past three months -- more of a concern that pigs would get the disease from people than vice versa. That concern led to Oregon State Veterinarian Don Hansen's controversial guidelines directing that a certain distance be kept between people and swine at fairs.

For more on these subjects, check next week's Capital Press.

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