EXPOSING the FDA and the USDA - Broad Casting here the things that they would prefer us NOT to know about our FOOD & DRUGS & Farming.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu a Misnomer? Gets new name.

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

[Note: It is now apparent that the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus
currently circulating in humans, though genetically linked to swine
influenza viruses, has not been found in swine and that swine do not
appear to be involved in the ongoing epidemic. For that reason, and
in keeping with usage by WHO and other agencies, ProMED will drop the
term "swine flu" from our coverage. We expect the term will continue
to be used by the media and in common usage for some time. - Mod.LM]

[1] OIE against swine culling
[2] Pathogen's nomenclature: WHO
[3] Pig's debated role: Mexico
[4] One health approach

[1] OIE against swine culling
Date: Thu 30 Apr 2009
Source: OIE press release [edited]

The OIE strongly counsels against the culling of pigs in the current
situation with A/H1N1 influenza that started in North America.

Scientific information currently available to the OIE and partner
organisations indicates that this novel A/H1N1 influenza virus is
being transmitted amongst humans; there is no evidence of infection
in pigs, nor of humans acquiring infection directly from pigs.

Moreover, and despite the fact that the currently circulating A/H1N1
influenza virus is not simply a swine influenza virus (it has
reassortant genetic material of human, avian and swine origin), it is
important to note that swine influenza has not been shown to be
transmissible to people through eating pig meat or other products
derived from pigs.

The OIE advises Members that the culling of pigs will not help to
guard against public or animal health risks presented by this novel
A/H1N1 influenza virus, and such action is inappropriate. Instead,
Members should focus their efforts on appropriate disease
surveillance and strengthening the general biosecurity measures
applied at premises where pigs are handled and slaughtered.

The OIE is collaborating with its network of reference laboratories
and collaborating centres, as well as with the World Health
Organization and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in
scientific investigations on the current situation and will, if
needed, issue further advice regarding biosecurity and trade measures
in due course. Thanks to these current investigations, the
pathogenicity (if any) of the circulating virus for animals should be
known shortly and, once known, will be the subject of a further
communication from the OIE.

In the meantime, Veterinary Authorities should work in collaboration
with human health counterparts to monitor pig herds for any signs of
unusual illness with suspected linkages to human cases of A/H1N1

Communicated by:

[OIE's statement should be seen in the context of the information of
29 Apr 2009 regarding Egypt's policy of culling the entire country's
pig population. - Mod.AS]

[2] Pathogen's nomenclature: WHO
Date: Thu 30 Apr 2009
Source: Associated Press via Forbes.com [edited]

The World Health Organization says it will stop using the term "swine
flu" to avoid confusion over the danger posed by pigs.

WHO spokesman Dick Thompson says the name change comes after the
agriculture industry and the U.N. food agency expressed concerns that
the term "swine flu" was misleading consumers and needlessly causing
countries to order the slaughter of pigs.

He told reporters in Geneva "we're going to stick with the technical
scientific name H1N1 influenza A."

WHO raised the pandemic flu alert to phase 5 on Wed [29 Apr 2009],
one step away from the highest level indicating a global outbreak.

WHO flu chief Keiji Fukuda said Thu [30 Apr 2009] the U.N. agency saw
nothing yet to prompt it to raise the pandemic alert further.

Communicated by:

[3] Pig's debated role: Mexico
Date: Wed 29 Apr 2009
Source: AnimalPharmNews [edited]

Granjas Carroll de Mexico finds itself in the spotlight because of
the swine flu crisis. However, recent reports have suggested that
this farm might not be the source of the outbreak. Our sister
publication, Clinica, is looking into the other possible causes of
the pandemic.

Although there is no official confirmation of a link between pigs and
the new swine influenza virus, a pig farm in Mexico has been named
"ground zero" for infection. Located in the region of Veracruz, near
Mexico City, Granjas Carroll is a pig farm that produces close to one
million animals a year and is 50 percent owned by US company
Smithfield Foods, the world's largest producer and processor of pork

[A map is accessible at the above URL; its explanatory text says:
"Granjas Carroll de Mexico, previously thought to be the "ground
zero," is shown in the map as "B." The farm, sandwiched between an
area of field crop farming and a built-up industrial area, is minutes
away from a network of roads"].

According to the local media, the population of La Gloria, where the
farm is located, have been complaining about manure dumps, flies and
smell from the farms for a long time. Since February 2009, they have
been reporting numerous cases of respiratory disease with symptoms
similar to those caused by swine influenza. It recently was confirmed
that an influenza case in the city, reported 2 weeks before the cases
in Mexico City, was in fact the new strain of H1N1, combining genetic
material from avian, swine and human influenza.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
manure discharges from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
such as Granjas Carroll can "migrate into soil and water near CAFOs,"
possibly spreading diseases. A spokesperson from Smithfields Foods
said that no clinical signs of influenza were reported in pigs or
employees in the farm.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has
issued a statement saying that it will, together with the World
Organization for Animal Health (OIE), send a team of experts to
Mexico this week to "help the government assess the epidemiologic
situation in the pig production sector." FAO says that so far there
is no established evidence that this strain of the influenza A virus
has entered the human population directly from pigs, but it urges
national governments and the international community to step up
disease surveillance in swine.

Communicated by:

[4] One health approach
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 2009
From: Noel Miranda

I wish to say that the discussion on nomenclature is minor, as what
we need to discuss is how we can all get together to solve this
evolving problem we seem to have gotten ourselves into due to the
lack of veterinary restriction imposed on the circulation of swine
influenza viruses globally. In short, there was really no effective
measure enforced to prevent the viruses from reassorting, since swine
flu was allowed to remain endemic in swine populations, with
vaccinations done unsystematically and partially without a rigid
swine flu virus surveillance and information exchange in place.

Obviously the [current] H1N1 virus originated from the swine
populations of America and Eurasia. However at present, it is a
purely human to human transmitted virus, sustained in the human
population, a swine-human flu with predilection to humans with index
cases being identified in America.

I wish to point out that the Animal-Human health sector with all
other relevant One Health sectors, should now come together and
discuss how to avoid the virus from freely reassorting in both animal
(swine) and human populations in case the pandemic becomes more
widely spread. While the virus seems to be relatively mild still,
with a reported 7 percent fatality rate, we do not want to experience
a 2nd wave involving a more virulent, mutated virus.

The veterinary role is to heighten biosecurity and containment in pig
and poultry farms, and further throughout the market chain, and
prevent contact of infected humans with swine. The swine trade will,
therefore, have to be very restricted (if not in some feasible way
stopped) during this developing pandemic. Swine flu surveillance and
reporting will have to be brought to real-time levels. We also have
to take into account how reassortment could take place in regions
affected by the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza. If we could
not prevent this developing H1N1 flu pandemic, we should now grab at
the open window of opportunity to prevent it from becoming worse
through a definitive One Health system approach.

Noel Miranda
One Health advocate/EID consultant
Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines

[Egypt's decision to cull its entire pig population has invoked
disapproval, culminating in OIE's above statement. Details on the
background to the decision have been requested in posting
20090429.1623 and are anticipated. - Mod.AS]

[see also:
Influenza A (H1N1), "swine flu": animal health (02), Egypt,
prevention 20090429.1623
Influenza A (H1N1) "swine flu": worldwide (07), update, pandemic 5
Influenza A (H1N1) "swine flu": worldwide (06) 20090429.1614
Influenza A (H1N1), "swine flu": animal health 20090428.1604
Avian influenza, human (82): Egypt (GH) 68th case 20090424.1545
Avian influenza, human (81) - Egypt, WHO 20090423.1535
Avian influenza, human (80): Egypt, 25th fatality 20090423.1531
Avian influenza, human (78): Egypt, WHO 20090421.1506
Avian influenza, human (73): Egypt, virulence 20090413.1411
Avian influenza (30): Indonesia, swine 20090403.1289]

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