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Archive for Monday, September 17, 2007

Pig disease epidemic causes concern

September 17, 2007

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— Moving rapidly from one farm to the next, a virus has been devastating pig communities throughout China for more than a year, wiping out entire herds, driving pork prices up nearly 87 percent in a year and helping push the country's inflation rate to its highest levels since 1996.

The Chinese government has admitted that the swine deaths amount to an epidemic but contends that the situation is under control. China says it is moving swiftly to stop the infections by quarantining and slaughtering the affected pigs. It says its researchers have developed an effective vaccine in record time for the likely cause - blue ear pig disease, a reproductive and respiratory illness that is highly fatal in pigs but that so far does not seem to pose danger to humans.

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