posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 08:56 PM
China says it has found the first discovery of Bird Flu in Pigs, which could dampen the effort to restrict the disease throughout the world.
Scientists detected the lethal H5N1 virus in pigs tested in 2003 and again in others this year, China National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory
director Chen Hualan told a conference.
United Nations (news - web sites) health and agricultural officials said they had not been informed about the find by the Chinese government and were
immediately seeking confirmation.
"A very important point is that in 2003 and 2004 we started finding this virus in pigs in different areas in China," Chen said in a presentation at
the International Symposium on the Prevention and Control of SARS and Avian Flu.
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"A very important point is that in 2003 and 2004 we started finding this virus in pigs in different areas in China," Chen Hualan told
journalists at the International Symposium on the Prevention and Control of SARS and Avian Flu. H5N1 is the worst strain of the virus and has 27 dead
across Asia in 2004.The UN's World Health Organization and the Food and Agricultural Organization said that this was the first they had heard of the
"I think it's something we've long warned can happen. I don't think we're shocked, but we need more details," said WHO spokesman Roy Wadia.
"If it's confirmed, it's a new chapter that's been written in the bird flu story."
Scientists have warned that if pigs are infected, the virus could mutate to a more deadly virus.That virus then could be easier spread to humans
because "pigs are a "mixing vessel" in which viruses swap genes." Until now the virus was only found in poultry with no swine cases reported.
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[edit on 21-8-2004 by John bull 1]