Friday, July 10, 2009

Humans May Give Swine Flu to Pigs

The ongoing confusion with the swine flu continues, and it has a new twist: Humans may give swine flu to pigs, even though we thought pigs were giving us the swine flu.
And because so many of us eat pork, we wanted to look a little deeper.
In the research published, Dr Thomas Vahlenkamp and a team of virologists from the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute in Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany, experimentally infected five pigs with the swine flu (get that? swine flu given to pigs) that is causing the current human pandemic. Within days the virus had spread to three un-infected pigs who were living with the infected ones and all pigs were showed clinical signs of swine flu. It seems with the increasing numbers of human infections, the likely hood of the human flu (the one we call swine flu) infecting pigs is becoming more likely.
(we need a flow chart)

The prevention of human-to-pig transmissions should have a high priority in order to avoid involvement of pigs in the epidemiology of this pandemic. (even though we've been calling that flu, the swine flu)
Although the virus spread quickly to the non-infected pigs, it did not spread to five chickens that were housed together with the pigs. (so it's not a chicken flu yet) This may imply that while the virus can pass from human to pig it does not pass from pig to chicken. (flow chart please)