Headlines China Denies Pigs Have Bird Flu Strain


Seeker of Truth
BEIJING - China said Monday that a deadly strain of bird flu that killed 27 people in Asia was found in Chinese pigs last year but denied that the animals had the disease this year. The World Health Organization warned that it could take several years to contain the epidemic.

A new outbreak of the virulent H5N1 strain of avian influenza in Malaysia and flare-ups in Thailand and Vietnam indicate the disease may be entrenched in parts of Asia, a WHO official said.

In addition, researchers in northeastern China said last week that they found H5N1 in pigs, which are genetically similar to humans. That intensified fears that the virus could mutate into a version that could be spread from person to person.

China's Agricultural Ministry said on its Web site Monday that experts had found "two strains of H5N1 in the bodies of pigs" in 2003.

But, the ministry said, results from blood tests on 1.1 million pigs and poultry this year showed that "we do not have the H5N1 bird flu virus in pigs."

OK, our pigs were sick last year, but they're ALL better this year!!

The Chinese govt's mantra: "If we say it enough - it's true"