Canada confirms H1N1 in swine herd, farm worker may be cause

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By Ann Bagel Storck on 5/4/2009


Canada has reported the world's first case of 2009 H1N1 flu jumping to pigs from a human, and health officials there speculate that it may have been caused by a farm worker in Alberta who became ill after a trip to Mexico.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, about 10 percent of the Alberta farm's 2,200 pigs showed symptoms of the same H1N1 strain. The herd has been placed under quarantine, and there is no risk to the food supply, CFIA said. CFIA also stressed that the chance that the pigs could transfer the virus to a person is remote.

"Canada has handled this situation appropriately and taken the necessary steps and precautions," U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a statement. "Here in the United States, USDA is actively working to develop an H1N1 vaccine for swine. Today's discovery will not impact our borders or trading with Canada."

CFIA is still waiting for final confirmatory test results on the swine, which could take up to two weeks.


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