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H1N1 confirmed in Minnesota pig

The USDA has confirmed the presence of 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus in a Minnesota pig.

Mike Strain, Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner and veterinarian by profession, said it’s not uncommon for pigs to get the flu and the finding should have no impact on the pork market.

“Properly cooked pork and pork products are safe to eat,” Strain said. “People cannot get the H1N1 flu virus or any other flu from eating pork or pork products. Pork is safe to eat.”

The USDA reported that the H1N1 virus was found in a pig sample collected at the Minnesota State Fair.

The sampling was part of a research project funded by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which documents influenza viruses where humans and pigs interact at events like state and county fairs.

USDA said the infection of the fair pig does not suggest infection in commercial herds because show pigs and commercially raised pigs are in separate segments of the swine industry that do not typically interchange personnel or animal stock.

Strain said Louisiana’s 367 pork producers should continue to maintain good biosecurity to protect their pigs from influenza viruses.

More information on the H1N1 virus may be found at the CDC Web site at www.cdc.gov, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (www.FightTheFluLA.com), and the USDA (www.usda.gov) or www.flu.gov.

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