WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) — The H1N1 virus was present at the pig barn during this year’s Minnesota State Fair, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says.
The USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the pandemic virus, also called swine flu, was detected in a pig sample collected at the fair, which ran for 11 days ending on Labor Day in St. Paul, Minn.,Vilsack said in a statement Monday.
“We have fully engaged our trading partners to remind them that several international organizations, including the World Organization for Animal Health, have advised that there is no scientific basis to restrict trade in pork and pork products,” said Vilsack. “People cannot get this flu from eating pork or pork products. Pork is safe to eat.”
Vilsack said the samples collected at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair were part of a University of Iowa and University of Minnesota cooperative agreement research project funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which documents influenza viruses where humans and pigs interact at such as fairs.
USDA officials said the infection of the fair pig does not suggest infection of commercial herds because show pigs and commercially raised pigs are in separate segments of the swine industry.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International