H1N1 – A new twist, people Infecting pigs – New health emergency in Argentina
Old News – New Emergency
Around June 25, 2009, H1N1 (Swine flu) was reported in numerous pigs at a farm near the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires. The virus had not shown itself to be any deadlier to the animals than a normal flu reported the government at that time. Yesterday, the Argentine government declared a nationwide animal health emergency following the discovery of the new H1N1 flu virus in that very same pig herd…that very one reported for the first time three weeks ago. My, they are slow at assessing a problem and then deciding if it is an emergency or not?!?!
“The contingency plan … allows for an increase in testing in pig farms and in slaughter houses in order to guarantee early detection,” the government’s Official said. The emergency measure will also give officials extra funding to deal with the outbreak. Earlier this month, officials said workers at a pig farm in Buenos Aires province were suspected of having passed the new strain onto the animals adding weight to the theory that pigs can be infected by humans.
The Next Shoe?
One small note in an article in the Buenos Aires Herald noted that “another pig herd later tested positive for the virus although Friday’s statement only made mention of the first case.” I guess, we will have to wait and see what that means as the government obviously keeps bad news close to its vest.
The flu strain has killed 137 people in the South American country during the Southern Hemisphere winter and the government has closed schools and urged Argentines to avoid crowded places to halt its spread. Public places in the capital are deserted and the airport as noted above are vacant.