Argentina Declares an Alert as Pigs Found with Swine Flu

Nurses COVID


Argentina: Spread Of H1N1 In Pigs

What's the concern about finding swine flu in pigs? Actually, it really is something to be alarmed about. For a full explanation,

Fla Medic has done a great job of explaining. This excerpt from his commentary is the short version.

Pigs are considered natural incubators, and mixing vessels for many different strains of influenza. They are capable of catching more than one strain at a time, and can help facilitate the reassortment, or swapping of genetic material, that creates a new virus.

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Pandemic H1N1 Spread in Argentina Raises Concerns

The finding of pandemic H1N1 in swine on farms in Alberta Canada and farms in two distinct locations in Buenos Aires Argentina raises concerns that the virus is more widespread on farms, and increased surveillance in swine linked to symptomatic farm workers or symptomatic swine has led to the detection.

Swine acts as a mixing vessel and allows for pandemic H1N1 genetic exchanges with other serotypes such as H9N2 and H5N1. Although cooking kills H1N1, contaminated pork can contaminated cutting utensils and surfaces, leading to cross contamination in food that is nor cooked.

The two outbreaks in Buenos Aires is a concern because of the high rate for H1N1 deaths. Agency and media reports have described over 200 deaths, which have largely been reported in the past few weeks. Most of these deaths have been in Buenos Aires province or the adjacent Santa Fe province, raising concerns that the virus in the region has changed. Similarly one report suggest that as many as 10% of fatalities are in health care workers, which, if confirmed would be a major concern because health care workers would be more likely to be taking prophylactic Tamiflu or received time Tamiflu treatment, so frequent deaths could signal or more virulent virus.

Thus, release of sequences from the two outbreaks on the farms, as well as the recent explosion of fatal cases in Argentina would be useful

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