November 28, 2005
A federally funded study suggests U.S. farmers, veterinarians and meat processors have a markedly high risk of infection from flu viruses spread by pigs.
Scientists conducting the study, funded in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the fact pigs can be infected by swine viruses, bird viruses and human flu viruses means they act as virtual virus “mixing bowls.”
“The worry is if a pig were to become simultaneously infected with both a human and an avian influenza virus, genes from these viruses could reassemble into a new virus that could be transmitted to, and cause disease in, people,” said NIAID Director Anthony Fauci.
So we need to worry about sanitation on pig farms, not just poultry farms.