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Colds and flu

18 June 2010

Swine flu hits pigs in Hong Kong

The H1N1 swine flu virus has been spreading quietly in pigs in Hong Kong and swapping genes with other viruses.

The H1N1 swine flu virus has been spreading quietly in pigs in Hong Kong and swapping genes with other viruses, and researchers said the findings support calls for tighter disease surveillance in pigs before new bugs can emerge and infect people.

"It demonstrates the pandemic virus can easily go back to pigs. Once it does so, it can reassort with other pig viruses and give rise to potentially unexpected consequences," said Peiris, a microbiology professor at the University of Hong Kong.

 

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Flu expert

Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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