Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

U.S. Swine Workers at Increased Risk of Infection with Swine Influenza Virus

24.11.2005


With national attention focused on the avian flu threat, other infections that could be transmitted from animals to people are also coming under scrutiny. People with work exposure to pigs, such as farmers, veterinarians and meat processing workers, are at heightened risk of contracting swine influenza, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.



Pigs’ physical makeup allows them to contract—and to spread—influenza viruses to and from other species, such as humans and birds. Due to their susceptibility to influenza virus infections from other species, pigs can also serve as “mixing vessel hosts” that can produce new influenza virus strains that could pose a risk to human health.

In Iowa, the state with the highest swine production, researchers examined farmers, veterinarians, meat processing workers and a control group of people who had no occupational contact with pigs. They discovered that, of the four groups, farmers were most likely to be seropositive—that is, to have antibodies in their blood against swine influenza, indicating previous infection with the virus. Veterinarians also had increased odds of seropositivity. Meat processing workers had elevated antibody levels as well, though the odds were not as high, perhaps due to the workers’ limited exposure to live pigs.


Despite the possibility for human infection with swine influenza, people shouldn’t panic, according to authors Gregory Gray, MD, and Kendall Myers, MS, of the University of Iowa. “While severe swine influenza virus infections in humans have been reported, we expect that the normal clinical course of swine influenza infections [in humans] is mild or without symptoms,” said Dr. Gray.

Pork consumption shouldn’t pose a problem, either. “There’s no evidence to suggest that swine influenza can be transmitted to humans through meat,” Ms. Myers said, so as long as people cook pork thoroughly and practice good handwashing, then pork chops, bacon and ham can stay on the menu.

Because pigs are susceptible to human infections, both the pork industry and swine workers could benefit from the establishment of a human influenza vaccination program. There is no human vaccine against swine influenza at this point, but increasing surveillance for influenza among swine workers is one key component of helping to prevent an epidemic. “Right now, [swine workers] are not included in the national pandemic plan, nor are they closely monitored for influenza,” Dr. Gray said. “Should pandemic influenza virus strains enter the United States and these workers not be given special attention, we think it could be a really big problem for Iowa.”

Founded in 1979, Clinical Infectious Diseases publishes clinical articles twice monthly in a variety of areas of infectious disease, and is one of the most highly regarded journals in this specialty. It is published under the auspices of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Based in Alexandria, Virginia, IDSA is a professional society representing about 8,000 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases.

Steve Baragona | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.idsociety.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Show me your leaves - Health check for urban trees
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
12.12.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>