Updated on Monday, April 27, 2009 at 1:14PM by Kay B. Day, Editor
The Centers for Disease Control’s description of a new strain of swine flu sounds like something out of a fictional lab: “The viruses contain a unique combination of gene segments that have not been reported previously among swine or human influenza viruses in the U.S. or elsewhere…It is not anticipated that the seasonal influenza vaccine will provide protection against the swine flu H1N1 viruses.” This isn’t the late president Gerald Ford’s swine flu.
Farm Futures issued a bio-security notice and quoted a CDC expert on the new strain’s makeup: “The AH1N1 flu strain is quite unusual. Dr. Nancy Cox, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said it contained gene segments from North American swine, bird and human flu strains as well as one from Eurasian swine. Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of respiratory diseases for the CDCP, says although they don't yet know the extent of the problem they think this is a time for major concern.”
Farm Futures issued advice from the National Pork Board, but the recommendations are aimed at screening workers rather than pigs, even limiting visitors to pig farms and paying attention to ventilation systems. The result of all these advisories and announcements is a verbal wildlfire on the Web.