April 26, 2009

Does pork carry the new H1N1 strain?

Russia may think so as it haults imports of US and Mexican Pork on precaution against swine flu. Bloomberg story here.

Although the official word is that one cannot get swine flu from eating pork (for example the CDC info sheet),
and Vilsack's statement:
"I also wanted to reassure the public that there is no evidence at this time showing that swine have been infected with this virus".

But as Obama Foodorama points out "there's currently no evidence because there hasn't been time to test the hogs".

the pork industry has seen new strains and off season occurances of H1N1 strains:

"Swine influenza virus used to be a seasonal problem as pigs would get sick in the fall and winter and then get over it. Today’s mix of SIV strains has turned swine flu into a year-round problem for pork producers.

Kurt Rossow, Veterinary Diagnostic Medicine, University of Minnesota, says that SIV cases seen in the past 6 months have shown “different H1N1 viruses and changes in H3N2 viruses as well. While it’s still out there and needs to be considered, the classic H1N1 is no longer the predominant SIV type". source

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