Swine Flu Pandemic 2009
During March and April 2009, a swine flu outbreak in Mexico infected over 350 people and was responsible several deaths.
The infection featured a new virus variant that combined several strains of influenza virus A, subtype H1N1, occurring both in humans and pigs.
The earliest confirmed case was reported in Perote, Veracruz on April 2 with the first fatality reported in Oaxaca nearly two weeks later on April 13.
Several reports suggested that a collection of farms in Perote belonging to the world's largest pork producer- US-based Simthfield, may have been the source of the swine flu outbreak.
Regardless of the source, by the time the outbreak was identified it was too late to be contained, and soon after cases were reported throughout the Americas, Europe, Oceania, and parts of Asia.
Below is collection of links, stories, and information relating to the outbreak:
- CBC news coverage and background information.
- A report from the Huffington Post indicating intensive livestock operations were responsible for the outbreak: Mexican Lawmaker: Factory Farms Are "Breeding Grounds" of Swine Flu Pandemic.
- Bird flu - a virus of our own hatchingThis book gives very clear information about the behaviour of viruses, the interaction between factory farming, trade and the spread of diseases such as bird flu and swine flu.
- The pigs' revenge Published in the Guardian on May 2, 2009 by Felicity Lawrence author of Eat Your Heart Out: Why the Food Business is Bad for the Planet and Your Health.
- Egypt presses ahead with pig cull The Egyptian government has ordered a hog cull which many observers feel is a transparent effort to shift all hog production to "modern" farms - aka industrial hog production.
- Pork industry is blurring the science of swine flu virus- is a story published April 30, 2009 in New Scientist which details efforts on the part of world human and animal health organizations to protect the pork industry from swine flu fallout.
- Exclusive Interview: CDC Head Virus Sleuth- A ScienceInsider interview with virologist Ruben Donis, chief of the molecular virology and vaccines branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who spoke about the swine flu virus causing the outbreak.
Swine Flu Ancestor Born on U.S. Factory Farms- A Wired magazine article that traces the origins of the swine flu outbreak to a strain that emerged in 1998 in U.S. factory farms, where it spread and mutated at an alarming rate.
Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy maintains a daily update and news scan.
Viral times - The politics of emerging global animal diseases outlines structural causes behind modern animal disease crises.
Blogs tracking swine flu outbreak developments:
Never Waste a Good Crisis- A blog written by Jillian Fry from Livable Future who views the outbreak as an opportunity to reform the pork industry.
Are Factory Farms to Blame for Swine Flu?- The Treehugger Blog by Pablo Paster.
A real time map tracking swine flu infection.
You can also visit our Swine Flu Fact Sheet for more information.