Tracing Bacon Flu to its Source

Tracing Bacon Flu to its Source

 In Blog

Wired has just published the best simple accounting of bacon flu’s spread that I’ve yet seen. And, while this won’t come as any surprise to readers, all signs point to factory pig farms as the source of the virus:

Scientists have traced the genetic lineage of the new H1N1 swine flu to a strain that emerged in 1998 in U.S. factory farms, where it spread and mutated at an alarming rate. Experts warned then that a pocket of the virus would someday evolve to infect humans, perhaps setting off a global pandemic.

The new findings challenge recent protests by pork industry leaders and U.S., Mexican and United Nations agriculture officials that industrial farms shouldn’t be implicated in the new swine flu, which has killed 176 people and on Thursday was formally declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

I’m still betting the disease fizzles out like SARS, but the way the pork industry has responded to this outbreak has doubtless generated significant public disgust. Link.

If you’re up for something more complicated, check out Grist’s lengthy and excellent analysis of the pork industry’s statements. Link.

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