Mexican pig farming area may be source of swine fluApril 28th, 2009 - 1:04 pm ICT by IANS
Mexico City, April 28 (Xinhua) A pig farming area in Mexico’s eastern coastal state of Veracruz might be the source of the swine flu strain that has killed 149 people in the country, Mexican media reported.
Local media and epidemic monitoring company Vertect identified Perote, a town in Veracruz and home to a large pig farm, as the first site of unusual influenza activity in Mexico.
The Veracruz state government rejected the accusations, saying residents in Perote often suffer from respiratory illnesses because the town is located in a mountainous area, where temperatures vary widely.
“We only have a case tested positive for the H1N1 virus, a boy of five years eight months and he is now safe,” said a government official, adding that an outbreak had been detected elsewhere around April 8, while the boy’s case was “around mid-April”.
However, Veracruz state news agency reported in March that residents were complaining of flu-like symptoms as early as in February and March, blaming a local pig farm, Granjas Carroll, a subsidiary of the US pig farming giant Smithfield Foods.
Smithfield issued a statement Sunday, saying it had “found no clinical signs or symptoms of the presence of swine influenza in the company’s swine herd or its employees at its joint ventures in Mexico”.
On Monday, the World Organisation for Animal Health said that the virus has characteristics of avian, human and swine virus and it is more accurate to call it the “North American Flu”.
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