Two men in Vietnam have died and 42 others fell ill after catching a bacterial infection from diseased pigs, an official said Monday.
Streptococcus suis infects people who handle fresh meat or eat undercooked dishes, said Nguyen Hong Ha, vice director of the Hanoi-based Tropical Diseases Institute.
The two deaths were reported separately earlier this month he said.
"A total of 42 human infections, with 20 in the south and 22 in the north, have been reported since the beginning of this year," Ha told AFP, adding that only one patient was currently receiving treatment at hospital.
According to the animal health department, a separate epidemic is spreading among pigs in central Vietnam.
Various areas in Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Da Nang provinces have reported blue ear disease in hundreds of pigs, forcing authorities to ban the sale and consumption of meat in several markets.
"These two diseases have no connection," Ha said. "Human infection has not been reported from the blue ear pig disease yet." – (SAPA, July 2007)
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