New Pig Virus Can Infect Humans

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January 02, 2008 | 6,530 views

A new virus that infects pigs seems to be able to jump to humans, according to Australian researchers. Researchers first noticed this virus in August of 1997 when sows at one Australian piggery began giving birth to deformed and mummified piglets. The virus, which they named Menangle virus, was shown via electron microscopy to be from the Paramyxovirus family of viruses. Immunologic and sequencing tests show that the virus has not been previously identified. Nearly all piglets at that piggery were infected, but the virus has only been found at two other farms, both of which buy animals from the affected site. Paramyxoviruses are known to infect seals, dolphins, lions and horses, among other animals. Some also infect humans, and some, like equine morbillivirus, have caused deaths in sick humans.

Newsletters #13 and #30 also have articles that document other viruses that are present in pork. In less than one year, there have been three articles documenting infectious reasons why we should not eat pork.

Emerging Infectious Diseases April-June 1998;4(2)