Minnissota Pigs Test Positive for Swine Flu
From the Associated Press less than one hour ago,
Preliminary tests show three pigs in Minnesota may have contracted the swine flu virus making them the first potential U.S. cases in swine, agricultural officials said Friday. They stressed the finding does not threaten food safety.
The samples were taken from pigs shown at the Minnesota State Fair between Aug. 26 and Sept. 1 as part of a university research project. Officials expect results next week to confirm whether the pigs were infected with swine flu virus, also known as H1N1.
The pigs did not show signs of sickness and officials said they likely contracted the virus from some of the nearly 1.8 million people who visited the fair.
How many of you watched the movie “Wag the Dog”? The pigs got sick from the patrons at a state fair? Are they kidding?
The Department of Agriculture’s veterinary lab in Ames, Iowa, is conducting tests to confirm the results, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.
This is October 16. The tests were taken in August and September. What is taking so long? My niece had swine flu and knew in a matter of days.
“This is not an issue of food safety,” Hugoson said. “Pork products are and continue to be safe to eat.”
Authorities aren’t planning special measures if the tests confirm the Minnesota pigs had the virus.
Are we missing something here? No special measures? Nothing like having the story break on a Friday night. What is the USDA hiding?
A hog vaccine for the virus is being developed but isn’t yet available.
Jose Diez, a USDA veterinary official on Friday’s call, said killing pigs to stop the spread of the virus has not been considered. He and other officials said swine usually recover quickly from influenza, and generally are sent to slaughter after they’re healthy and ready for market.
Does this mean that the pigs get the flu, recover, are sent to slaughter and we eat them? How large is the Pork Lobby?
While the chance of a pig infecting a person is considered remote, the animals can act as mixing vessels if they happen to catch two different strains at the same time, allowing mutation of a new one. Officials said there’s no evidence that’s happened. Isn’t that what they said? Do they read their own press release?
That is exactly what they are saying.
Still, the news was clearly unwelcome for the pork industry, which has worked to distance itself from the swine flu virus.
THAT’S WHY IT’S OUT THERE ON A FRIDAY AFTER THE FAMLY FOOD SHOPPING IS DONE.
“At the end of the day this is not a big deal,” said Mike Wegner, a spokesman for the National Pork Board. “There is no reason for anyone to be concerned about the safety of pork, either eating or handling.”
Here we go again, another Larry King Live episode. I can see it now. Is Pork safe to eat? Find out on the next Larry King Live.
“I’m more concerned with the public fear,” he said. “How many thousands of people die a year from the flu? Most years nobody thinks about it, but now everyone is up in arms because of this H1N1 thing.”
Minnesota is the country’s No. 3 pork-producing state behind Iowa and North Carolina.
Minnesota pork producers had 7.3 million hogs and pigs as of Sept. 1, according to USDA figures, while the national inventory was 66.6 million head. The pork industry contributes nearly $1.5 billion and more than 21,000 jobs to the state’s economy, according to the National Pork Producers Council.
OK, Bill Marler, let’s get that fantasy panel together. Call me.