Canada helps Mexico in swine flu testing

April 30th, 2009 - 1:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, April 30 (IANS) Canada Wednesday began assisting Mexico in swine flu testing as six more cases of the flu were reported in this country.
This takes the total number of swine flu cases in Canada to 19.

Three cases each came to light in Toronto and Vancouver areas, health authorities said.

To ease the growing public anxiety over the spread of the flu, International Trade Minister Stockwell Day and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said “all levels of government are working together to protect the health of families in Canada and around the world”.

They said though swine influenza cannot be contracted through eating pork or pork products, “consumers and trading partners can rest assured that the Canadian animal health and food safety systems remain among the best in the world”.

Fearing the impact of ban on pork products by some countries on Canada’s $2.7-billion annual exports, the ministers said in a joint statement: “We urge these countries to base their decisions on sound science. Now is the time to work together as nations to control this outbreak”.

Canada also announced to assist Mexico in testing of viral samples as the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory began analysing the 200 specimens from patients in Mexico with severe respiratory illness.

“In the spirit of international collaboration, and as part of our North American approach to this situation, we are pleased to assist the government of Mexico with testing of virus samples,” said Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq.

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