Swine flu detected at Argentina pig farm

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Swine flu has been detected in
numerous pigs at a farm near the Argentine capital, but the virus
has not shown itself to be any deadlier to the animals than a
normal flu, the government said Friday.

The discovery comes as Argentina is experiencing a human swine
flu outbreak during the South American winter. The Health Ministry
confirmed three new deaths - raising the country's toll to 26, more
than any other nation on the continent.

Jorge Amaya, chief of the National Agricultural Health and
Quality Service, told Mitre radio that about a quarter of pigs at
the unidentified farm in Buenos Aires province were found to be
infected.

"The mortality rate is less than 2 percent, which is typical of
a normal flu for swine," Amaya said.

Nevertheless, he said, "Veterinarians are very worried because
humans are infecting the animals." Amaya added that eating pork
poses no danger to people.

Pork Producers' Association president Juan Uccelli said the farm
would be closed down for an investigation of the H1N1 virus'
evolution there.

Swine flu was previously found in pigs last month on a farm in
Alberta, Canada. About 500 hogs were killed because a quarantine on
the farm created overcrowding - not because they were sick,
officials there said.

The Health Ministry said Friday that 1,587 people in Argentina
have been infected.

But while authorities are taking measures to contain the virus,
they say it is not expected to be worse than the regular seasonal
flu.


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