Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) May 05, 2009 -- With the death of thousands of pigs, ordered by the Egyptian government, will it mean the demise of the pork industry in Egypt? Approximately 300,000 pigs have ordered to be killed as a âprecaution against Swine Fluâ, in a country where there have been no reported cases of the disease. Farmers are furious and some have resisted the order, demanding they receive compensation. The order comes in spite of the fact that Swine Flu cannot be caught through the eating of pork products.
The Egyptian parliament would like to see the entire pig population slaughtered in the country, where the pig industry caters mainly to the 20% non-Muslim minority. It is reported that 60,000 pigs are grown in a slum by rubbish collectors.
The threat of a pandemic is causing a lot of countries to take extra precautions against the spread of the disease. Particularly in poor countries that have weak public health systems. Egypt performed a similar act a few years back, in an over-reaction to the threat of an outbreak of Avian Flu.
The owner of one commercial 'confined animal feeding operation' just north of Cairo, refused to cooperate with Health Ministry workers who were sent to kill his animals. The government workers left without complying with the government order.
Studies have revealed that Swine Flu is present in most pig populations, right around the world. When tested, 25% of animals showed signs of having either had the disease, or the disease is currently present. Workers on pig farms, who have contracted Swine Flu, do not usually infect other people, apart from some of their immediate family members.
A member of the World Health Organization firmly believe claims of over 150 deaths from Swine Flu in Mexico is an error. "The WHO had confirmed that worldwide there had been just seven deaths, in Mexico and only 97 confirmed cases of the disease", says Vivienne Allan, from WHO's patient safety programme. It is reported there are 109 confirmed cases in the US, with one death. 19 confirmed cases in Canada, 13 in Spain, 8 in Britain, 3 in both Germany. For the most part it is only mild cases of the disease that have been confirmed outside Mexico.
The World Health Organization says it wishes to stop using the term Swine Flu, to avoid confusion and danger to the pig population. Swine Flu now be known by the term H1N1 influenza A. WHO has raised the pandemic flu alert to Phase 5. This is one step away from the highest level, which would indicate a worldwide outbreak of the disease. WHO did not expect to need to raise the level any higher.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).says "A and B type influenza, the seasonal influenza accounts for approximately between 250,000 â 500,000 deaths globally each year". Only three influenza pandemics have recorded in the last century.
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