Thursday, April 30, 2009

H1N1 is NOT Transmitted Through Pork-Products

Joint FAO/WHO/OIE Statement on influenza A(H1N1) and the safety of pork:

"In the on-going spread of influenza A/H1N1, concerns about the possibility of this virus being found in pigs and the safety of pork and pork products has been raised.

Influenza viruses are not known to be transmissible to people through eating processed pork or other food products derived from pigs.

Heat treatments commonly used in cooking meat (e.g. 70°C/160°F core temperature) will readily inactivate any viruses potentially present in raw meat products.

Pork and pork products, handled in accordance with good hygienic practices recommended by the WHO will not be a source of infection

Authorities and consumers should ensure that meat from sick pigs or pigs found dead are not processed or used for human consumption under any circumstances."


In particular, the virus currently circulating, H1N1, is transmitted from human to human. Contact with pigs or any other animals is not necessary to contract this virus. To avoid contracting the virus, people should:

  1. Avoid crowded areas or people who are ill
  2. Cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue/arm/sleeve (not hands)
  3. Wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  4. Wipe down commonly used or shared surfaces with sanitizer or soap
  5. Seek medical treatment if you have severe symptoms (there are antivirals - oseltamivir and zanamivir - that seem to be useful in treating H1N1)
  6. Stay away from home or work if you become ill to avoid spreading the virus to others

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