BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Swine flu has been detected in numerous pigs at a farm near the Argentine capital, but the virus has not shown itself to be any deadlier to the animals than a normal flu, the government said Friday.
The discovery comes as Argentina is experiencing a human swine flu outbreak during the South American winter. The Health Ministry confirmed three new deaths — raising the country’s toll to 26, more than any other nation on the continent.
Jorge Amaya, chief of the National Agricultural Health and Quality Service, told Mitre radio that about a quarter of pigs at the unidentified farm in Buenos Aires province were found to be infected.
“The mortality rate is less than 2 percent, which is typical of a normal flu for swine,” Amaya said.
Nevertheless, he said, “Veterinarians are very worried because humans are infecting the animals.” Amaya added that eating pork poses no danger to people.
Pork Producers’ Association president Juan Uccelli said the farm would be closed down for an investigation of the H1N1 virus’ evolution there.
Swine flu was previously found in pigs last month on a farm in Alberta, Canada. About 500 hogs were killed because a quarantine on the farm created overcrowding — not because they were sick, officials there said.
The Health Ministry said Friday that 1,587 people in Argentina have been infected.
But while authorities are taking measures to contain the virus, they say it is not expected to be worse than the regular seasonal flu.

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