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... an article just published in Scientific American says our pig monitoring is pretty bad. So bad that American pigs farms are virtually "flu factories," according to author Helen Branswell, a Nieman Fellow in global health reporting at Harvard University.
Why is monitoring so slack? The problem, Branswell writes, is that the pork industry is reluctant to share data with human health officials. And, Branswell says that industry results of pig flu tests are kept confidential.
Ten more people have died in the last week after contracting flu bringing the total this winter to 27, it has been revealed.
The H1N1 swine flu strain is responsible for the majority of the deaths as cases of influenza continue to rise.
It is feared cases of flu and deaths are accelerating as the flu season takes hold.
The number of people seeing their GP with flu symptoms has increased six fold in the last three weeks.
H1N1 is the predominant strain circulating this winter and is following a similar pattern as during the pandemic when it struck young age groups hardest and caused some severe illness.
Influenza expert Professor John Oxford described the upward curve of the flu cases graph as “pretty horrible”.
Concerns over the spread and virulence of the latest flu outbreak are increasing among health experts, following a doubling of cases in a week and the announcement today of 10 more deaths, taking the total this season to 27.
...According to the Royal College of GPs, confirmed cases have increased from 32.8 per 100,000 to 87.1 per 100,000 in the last week.
The true figure will be higher as some people will stay at home in bed without seeing a doctor.
The chief anxiety is that the predominant strain is H1N1 swine flu, which triggered last year's pandemic and is now coming around for a second season.
Originally posted by soficrow
Industry results of pig flu tests are kept confidential.
...I love my pork chops, bacon and pork skins as much as anyone else who loves their pork products but I'll quit eating anything with pork just to send a message to the industry that they can't be messing with the health of the public.
...There is nearly universal agreement that food safety priority setting decisions should be informed by scientific information and analysis, beginning with a data-driven approach to ranking the public health impact of specific foodborne hazards. Work is underway to establish protocols for how such food safety risk ranking should be done. Much of the focus is on development of an integrated framework for pathogen risk ranking to support priority setting decisions that combines epidemiological information on disease incidence, data on the attribution of these illnesses to foods, knowledge about the symptoms, medical treatments, and health outcomes of disease, and the economic and quality-of-life impacts of these health outcomes.
...Human illness due to foodborne and zoonotic pathogens remains a persistent problem because of its tremendous complexity and dynamic nature. Complexities include a large number of unique microorganisms that cause a wide range of human health outcomes, a vast array of foods and animals that serve as vehicles for human exposure, and a wide range of causative and contributing factors that affect contamination, growth, persistence, and inactivation throughout the farm to fork food continuum. ...
Originally posted by Dimitri Dzengalshlevi
Of course they are. Same with other factory farmed animals like chicken and cow. The American corporations behind the agriculture and meat markets will stop at nothing to acheive maximum profit and they have no problem with farming animals in extremely disturbing conditions which creates new forms of pathogens, only to cover up the problem with chemical solutions.
The entire food industry of the US is a plague. Think the red tone in the beef that you buy is blood? It's actually red colouring added to the beef which is bleached white to kill off potential ecoli strains that develop from the diplorable conditions that these animals suffer under.
Originally posted by Logarock
reply to post by Romekje
But are they sure that this outbreak came from some local farm? Was it swine flu?