May 3, 2009 11:34 PM

swine flu?!

since it's all everyone is talking about these days...
(CBS/AP) Mexico's health secretary says the number of confirmed swine flu cases has risen to 473, including 19 people who died.

The previous confirmed death toll was 16.

Jose Angel Cordova is urging citizens not to let their guard down against a virus that has killed 17 people and is spreading across Asia and Europe. Experts warned the virus could mutate and come back with a vengeance.

Cordova spoke at a news conference Saturday.

Cases outside Mexico suggest the new swine flu strain is weaker than feared. But governments moved quickly anyway to ban flights and prepare quarantine plans.

The swine flu caseload continued to grow elsewhere as well.

Pigs at a farm in Alberta, Canada caught the same swine flu strain that has sickened hundreds of humans around the world, Canadian officials said.

A farmhand who traveled to Mexico and fell ill upon his return apparently infected the pigs with the H1N1 influenza virus, said Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada's chief public health officer.

"So far, basically what we're seeing in the pig is the same strain as we see in the humans," Butler-Jones said.

"The concern is that if it's circulating in a pig herd, that any other humans that come onto the farm might be exposed and be at risk."

This is the first time this swine flu virus has been found in pigs.

The farm worker returned to Canada from Mexico on April 12 and had contact with the pigs two days later. About 220 pigs in the herd of 2,200 began showing signs of the flu on April 24, said the country's top veterinary officer, Dr. Brian Evans of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

All of the pigs are recovering or have recovered and the farm worker has also recovered.

One other farm worker subsequently fell ill. It's not yet known if that person caught the swine flu.


Angela Hsu | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (0)

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