A/H1N1 in Bangkok Pigs No Cause for Alarm

THAILAND - Pig farms in the capital are not at risk from type A (H1N1) influenza, as there are so few swine farmers in the city, according to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).
calendar icon 21 December 2009
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Deputy Governor Malinee Sukavejworakit said not many pig farms were located in Bangkok and that livestock officials sent by the BMA to inspect swine farms in Min Buri, Lat Krabang and Nong Chok districts frequently reported back.

Farmers who have fallen ill are advised to stay away from their animals, in order to prevent transmission of the disease to the livestock and the possible mutation of the virus.

Klong San district and the Wang Thonglang area run effective and systematic disease control systems suitable as role models for other districts, according to The Nation.

Regarding fears about consuming pork, Ms Malinee, who is a medical doctor, said the virus could live for six weeks in pork but could be eliminated by cooking it at a temperature of 100°C.

Responding to reports the virus would spread during the cool season, she said the number of new infections remained stable, as people who contracted the virus earlier had developed an immunity.

Total type A (H1N1) infections in Bangkok remains at 5,066, with 26 fatalities reported. Most patients – 35 per cent – are between 11 and 20 years old. The highest number of infections (157) were found in Watthana district. Spread of the disease has declined since October.

In the northern province of Phichit, pig raisers strictly disinฌfect and clean their farms, and local livestock officials educate producers to inform officials immediately if their animals fall ill.

The detailed response follows a recent report of a pig becoming infected with the virus from a human at Tapkwang Research Station in Saraburi's Kaeng Khoi district last Saturday.

From that incident, 133 persons – 95 farm workers and 38 students and interns – were placed under medical observation for six days, said Public Health Ministry permanent secretary, Dr Paichit Varachit.

Health officials will follow up and monitor these people for another two weeks and have advised them to report to a doctor immediately if they display any symptoms.

Dr Paichit said no one had fallen ill so far and that the pig in the incident had completely recovered from the disease.

No local residents have been reported ill since the human-to-pig transmission occurred.

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