Colds and flu

17 December 2009

Human-to-pig swine flu case in Thailand

Thailand confirmed its first case of a pig infected with swine flu spread from humans, senior officials said.

Thailand confirmed its first case of a pig infected with swine flu spread from humans, senior officials said.

Agriculture minister Thira Wongsamut said that one of 80 pigs in a sample group tested for the virus at Kasertsart University farm in the central province of Sara Buri had contracted A(H1N1) influenza.

"It was only in one sample that we found the A(H1N1)," Thira said. The ministry has quarantined a five kilometre-radius around the farm, where university research is carried out, as a precautionary measure, he said, adding that new health checks would be conducted at the farm every three days.

Workers did not contract swine flu

The ministry's permanent secretary Yukol Limlamthong said that none of the 132 workers at the university farm had contracted swine flu. He could not confirm if a research student had brought the virus in.

"We cannot prove that, but the test results show the pig contracted the virus from a human," Yukol said. Thira said that eating pork did not pose a danger.

 "The virus spread from human to pigs, as in several countries. We've had no case of it spreading from pigs to humans," he said.

Since the swine flu outbreak began in April, the ministry said it has tested more than 26,000 pigs for the virus. It has confirmed 29,741 human cases of the flu and 190 of those were fatal. The Thai government has a one-million dollar fund set aside to combat swine flu. – (Sapa-AFP, December 2009)

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Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
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Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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