Farm Worker Gives H1N1 (Swine) Flu To . . . Pigs

Oops. A hog farm in Alberta is under quarantine after Canadian pigs caught the Hybrid H1N1 Flu from a farm worker. The pigs were exposed to the virus after a worker at a family-run farm returned from Mexico with flu symptoms. This is the first time the new H1N1 influenza strain has been found in pigs.

Canadian officials stressed that the outbreak (involving approximately 200 pigs in a herd of 2,200) has been fully contained, assured the public that the country's food supply is safe, and stressed (again) that there is no risk of contracting the illness by eating pork. Echoing recent comments from the CDC and USDA, Canadian health officials stressed there is “no evidence the virus can be transmitted through eating pork.” Click on the following link to read Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's commnets on the Canadian Outbreak.  Moreover, even if pork could become contaminated (through cross contamination or other means), which is very unlikely, we know that cooking pork to 160 degrees readily kills any pathogens that might be present.

Here at home, the CDC has confirmed approximately 226 human cases of the flu in 30 states. And, as far as we can tell, American pigs remain completely unaffected.