H1N1 flu found in Canadian pig herd: officials

Sat May 2, 2009 7:36pm EDT
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Canadian health officials said on Saturday they found the new H1N1 flu virus in a swine herd in the province of Alberta but that there was no threat to the food supply.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said the infected herd was quarantined pending more testing, "but that the chances the pigs could transfer the virus to humans was remote."

"The safety of the food supply is not affected and Canadian pork continues to be safe to eat," the agency added.

It said all the infected pigs had recovered or were recovering.

The agency said the herd apparently caught the virus from a human who recently traveled to Mexico, the epicenter of a swine flu outbreak that has spread to 18 countries and may have killed more than 100 people, all but one in Mexico.

Canada has had more than 70 confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus in humans, all mild and involving recent travelers to Mexico or those who had contact with others who had been in the Latin American nation.

Flu viruses do not affect the safety of pork, according to the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which warned on Saturday against imposing trade restrictions on pig or pig products.

(Reporting Allan Dowd; Editing by Peter Cooney and Paul Simao)