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Pork is Safe –
Flu is Not!
A new hybrid influenza in
humans is dominating the news and is of legitimate concern to the public. The
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assures the public, however,
that a person cannot get what is generally labeled as ‘swine influenza’ from
handling or eating pork products – it is not a food-borne illness.
“Consumers should not assume the terminology used to
describe the current influenza outbreak has any bearing upon the safety of
eating pork and pork products,” said Charles E. Kruse, president of Missouri
“In fact, the World Organization for Animal Health
contends the new virus should not be called ‘swine influenza’ at all, but rather
the ‘North American influenza’ using the same approach as in the past for naming
influenza pandemics for regions where they first occurred. Other officials are
referring to the virus by its scientific name of H1N1.”
All of the cases of the H1N1 virus reported in the
United States were spread by human-to-human contact. Although the H1N1 virus is
spreading among humans, there are no reports of the influenza virus in the U.S.