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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hong Kong : FEHD releases results of regular influenza virus surveillance in pigs from August to October

From Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (November 16) announced results of the regular influenza virus surveillance programme on pigs conducted by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) for August to mid October at the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse.

Among some 1 000 samples tested, no human swine influenza virus (pandemic H1N1) was detected. However, 15 samples were found to contain a virus that was essentially a swine influenza H3N2 virus but had picked up some genes of human swine influenza virus. The same virus was also found in the last round of surveillance programme for May to July.

The HKU expert in charge of the surveillance programme, Professor JSM Peiris, reiterated that this swine influenza H3N2 virus, which carried the genes of the human swine influenza virus, is unlikely to cause any major human health risk or problems in food safety.

Under the regular influenza virus surveillance programme for pigs, the CFS has been helping HKU researchers to collect blood and tracheal and nasal swabs from pigs at the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse twice a month to monitor influenza virus activity in pigs."

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