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Swine Flu affecting humans, not pigs
04-29-2009, 06:18 AM,
Swine Flu affecting humans, not pigs
Swine Flu affecting
humans, not pigs
Pork producers still need to be on
Updated: Monday, 27 Apr 2009, 12:46 PM EDT
Published : Saturday, 25 Apr 2009, 10:28 PM EDT

Laura Kirtley
(WLFI) - Despite its name, the deadly strain of Swine Flu is spreading quickly between humans, not pigs. Dr. Jeffrey Harker with Swine Health Services and the immediate past President of Indiana Pork, said there is no reason to believe the American swine population has been infected.

"It may have started with a recombination of a human and swine strain but at this point it is transmitting between humans without any infector like a pig or a bird," Harker said.

But Harker said pork producers still need to be aware of the increased threat to their livestock.

"Be aware that if you or your employees are going to be around pigs and you think you might have the flu, the best this is to not be in contact with the pigs because of the risk of reinfecting or that co-infection occurring," Harker said.

Harker said in pigs, the symptoms of Swine Flu are similar to those displayed by humans.

"They'll cough, they'll have a nasal discharge and they'll have a fever. And, in a normal healthy animal or human it will resolve in three to five days," Harker said.

For those who worry about eating pork, Harker said there is no danger of infection.

"Pork is safe, there is no concern of catching influenza from the pork. It is an air-borne virus that is transmitted in the airways and it doesn't even enter in the muscle tissue of the pigs," Harker said.

According to the Center for Disease Control, pigs in North America are routinely vaccinated for the Swine Flu. No vaccine exists for humans.

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