Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Can I Get Swine Flu From Eating BBQ Pork?

Does the current media circus over Swine Flu mean that you need to give up "pigs lips" (sausages), pulled pork, ham and eggs or bacon cheeseburgers?

According to to the folk at the US Centre for Disease Control, human infection happens intermittently, with most cases occurring when patients have direct contact with pigs.

Human-to-human infections occasionally occur with virus transmitted through coughing, sneezing and coming in contact with a person or object with the virus.

However, people cannot become infected by eating pork or pork products. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (72 degree centigrade) kills the virus as well as other bacteria, notes the CDC.

The BBQ Jew blog raises the interesting co-incidence that "swine flu was first identified in hogs in 1930, around the beginning of the Great Depression.

Now we are in the midst of another economic crisis and the swine flu is back in the news."

The current run rate for swine flu is more than 1600 cases in Mexico where the suspected death toll has climbed to 149.

There have been 40 cases in the US, where Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, said that there have been no deaths and only one hospitalization.

Besser said "The best way to keep the disease from spreading, he said, is by taking everyday precautions such as frequent handwashing, covering up coughs and sneezes and staying away from work or school if not feeling well."

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