June 27, 2009

Swine Flu Found At Argentinean Pig Farm

Swine flu has been identified in several pigs at a farm close to the Argentinean capital, but the virus has not been any more dangerous to the swine than the regular flu, the government announced on Friday.

The find emerges as Argentina is undergoing a human swine flu epidemic. The Health Ministry announced three new deaths accredited to the swine flu, which makes the country's death total 26, more than any other country in South America.

Jorge Amaya, head of the National Agricultural Health and Quality Service, stated to Mitre radio that about one fourth of the pigs at the farm in Buenos Aires were infected.

"The mortality rate is less than 2 percent, which is typical of a normal flu for swine," Amaya said.

Nonetheless, "Veterinarians are very worried because humans are infecting the animals."

Amaya said firmly that consuming pork products is not dangerous to humans.

Pork Producers' Association president Juan Uccelli said the farm would be shut down for a thorough examination of the H1N1 virus.

Swine flu was discovered on a pig farm in May in Alberta, Canada. 500 hogs were slaughtered because quarantines resulted in overcrowding, officials in Canada said.

The Health Ministry announced on Friday that 1,587 people in Argentina have confirmed cases of the swine flu.

Even though authorities are taking steps to restrain the virus, they insist that it is not anticipated to be deadlier than the normal, seasonal flu.