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USDA confirms flu in state fair pig

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) has confirmed the presence of 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus in a pig sample collected at the Minnesota State Fair submitted by the University of Minnesota. Additional samples are being tested.

“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 U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “People cannot get this flu from eating pork or pork products. Pork is safe to eat.”

The USDA 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 that do not typically interchange personnel or animal stock.

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