May 14, 2013

Study finds more flu virus infections in China hogs

Scientists said that flu infections are rising among pigs raised for slaughter on farms in south and southeastern China. And the risk of spillover to humans was "constant or growing”, according to one of the authors of a study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.  Pigs are a key source of new human strains of influenza A, such as the 2009-10 H1N1 pandemic that emerged in Mexico and infected an estimated fifth of the world’s population, AFP reports. Pigs can act as a "mixing vessel” in a process known as reassortment, brewing new flu strains from swine, poultry and human viruses in areas where they live in close proximity.  Read More

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