Officials Saying Hog Surveillance Could Be Difficult

New strain of H1N1 found in Brazil.

Published on: Jun 18, 2009

Scientists in Sao Paulo, Brazil have found a new strain of H1N1. This new strain contains differences that allow the virus to infect new hosts. It's unknown right now if the new strain is more aggressive than the current virus, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Officials of the World Organization for Animal Health are saying it will be difficult to boost surveillance of hogs for the new pandemic unless farmers are confident they won't be punished if the disease is found in their animals.

 

Though the virus isn't spread by meat importers like China and Russia have issued trade bans on pork. World health and trade officials say these bans are unwarranted. Senior advisor to the OIE's Director-General Alex Thiermann says farmers will be discouraged from participating in monitoring programs from bans sparked by the human outbreak and the cull of hogs on the only farm found with the disease. Thiermann says the world is going to have to respect the international standards on safe trade, though it wants more transparent notification of new flu strains.