Canada reports first case of pigs catching swine flu from humans

May 3rd, 2009 - 12:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Ottawa (Canada), May 3 (ANI): The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has come out with an outstanding revelation that a farm hand has infected pigs at an Alberta farm with the swine flu virus.

The Canadian Press quoted Canada’s top veterinary officer, Brian Evans and the country’s chief public health officer, David Butler-Jones, as saying in Ottawa that the farmhand who travelled to Mexico fell ill upon his return, and apparently infected the pigs with the H1N1 influenza virus.

It’s believed to be the first known case of pigs catching the swine flu virus from humans.

The farm worker returned to Canada from Mexico on April 12 and had contact with the pigs two days later.

About 220 pigs in the herd of 2,200 began showing signs of the flu on April 24, said Evans.

All of the pigs are recovering or have recovered and the farm worker has also recovered, he added.

“So far, basically what we’re seeing in the pig is the same strain as we see in the humans. The concern is that if it’s circulating in a pig herd, that any other humans that come onto the farm might be exposed and be at risk,” David Butler-Jones said.

Public health officials and others are trying to intercept incoming workers at food lines and churches in hopes of stemming the spread of deadly swine flu.

The virus has shown no signs of mutation when passing from human to pig, Evans said.

“At this point in time, the issue of this being a human virus, having been introduced to the pigs, and the characterization of this virus, shows it is still that virus. There’s been no adaptation identified through the transfer from humans to pigs at this time,” he said.

The World Health Organization has insisted there is no evidence that pigs are passing the virus to humans, or that eating pork products poses an infection risk. (ANI)

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