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NDSU Extension Service, Published April 30 2009

U.S. pork supply safe, says NDSU swine associate

FARGO - The current outbreak of swine flu is raising unnecessary concerns and misconceptions, according to David Newman, North Dakota State University Extension Service swine associate.

For example, the safety of U.S. pork is not an issue at this time, he says.

“Humans cannot contract this strain of influenza from eating pork,” he says. “It is important to note that no associations with the current virus have been found in swine herds, animals or employees anywhere in the world to date. The current situation is due to human-to-human transmission and not swine-to-human transmission.”

Newman also says that calling this virus the “swine” influenza is incorrect.

This misnomer is based on historical outbreaks of influenza that caused significant mortality of humans and swine, although no pigs have been found to be ill from this virus.

The current virus, known properly as H1N1, also may have been misidentified as swine flu because some elements of have been found in the genetics of swine populations in the past, he says.