Pig flu infects humans: More evidence against confined feeding operations?


I swore off pork raised in large commercial farms after reading Nicholas Kristof's deep evaluation of the use of prophylactic antibiotics in animal feed, and how it's causing an explosion of MRSA, a flesh-eating bacterial infection, in pig farm workers and the people who live nearby those factory farms that raise pigs.

But today's news is even more troubling, as it indicates that resistant "superbugs" are spreading, not just to those whose lives keep them close to the live animals, but people far-removed from swine. The CDC announced that seven people had been diagnosed with a rare form of swine flu, a strain previously only found in those who were in contact with pigs. All those infected were in the Southwestern United States.

Update: Shortly after I posted this, news from Mexico started to emerge that swine flu had come from that country, where at least 100 are now confirmed dead and many hundreds are sick. The flu does not transmit through eating pork (so far as reports have demonstrated), but it is likely the flu initially spread from pig to human through pork farm waste overflow. Now the flu is spreading from human to human; pigs and humans have very similar DNA, so it is not unusual for humans to catch cold from pigs, but it is unusual for swine flu to pass from human to human with no pigs present.