The biggest headline developing over the weekend is the spread of swine flu from Mexico to the rest of the world.
Eating pork and pork products will not infect you with swine flu. Like all flus, this one is transmitted by the sneezing or coughing of or physical proximity to an infected person.
However, could there be a relationship between this flu outbreak and the way pork is raised for human consumption?
What you need to know:
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza that regularly cause outbreaks of influenza among pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans, however, human infections with swine flu do occur, and cases of human-to-human spread of swine flu viruses has been documented.
The somewhat apocalyptic, green loving, and satirical Grist blog has linked the outbreak to a massive hog raising operation in the Mexican state of Vera Cruz. The “farm”, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, raises close to a million pigs a year in CAFO conditions.
Could the filthy conditions at the factory farm, along with all the fecal waste contaminating the water and air of the closest town, Perote, be a breeding ground for new, super-strains of influenza?
Perhaps this is just coincidence.
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