Researchers analyzing the swine flu H1N1 virus in the people who contracted the disease in California and Texas have found that most of the viral gene segments are descendants of a unique triple human-bird-swine virus that first plagued factory farms in North Carolina, USA in 1998.
This research was initially released by Columbia University’s Center for Computation Biology in the US, and since been confirmed by scientists at places like the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
During a phone conversation with Supreme Master Television,Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture for the Humane Society of the US, Dr. Michael Greger, M.D., explained the most recent understanding of the current swine flu’s evolution.
Dr Michael Greger(m): The scientists all around the world are now confirming that three-fourths of the genetic material from the current virus came from this triple-hybrid virus that emerged on factory farms in the United States in 1998.
Dr Michael Greger(m): In a factory farm in North Carolina, August 1998, a double-hybrid mutant, influenza virus arose in a pig factory that was confining thousands of breeding pigs in gestation crates, these small veal crate-like metal stalls for pregnant pigs.
One of the traditional swine flu viruses that existed for seventy years, essentially without change, had acquired three genes from a human flu virus.And then it became the double-hybrid pig human virus. It then spread by the end of the year, there were outbreaks in Iowa, Texas, and Minnesota.
By that time, it had picked up two additional gene segments, this time from bird flu viruses. Now we had a never-before-described triple-hybrid flu virus causing sickness among pigs, and very rapidly.
By early 1999, it had spread throughout the country.More than four thousand pigs were sampled across 23 states in early 1999. 20.5% of all pigs were found exposed to this triple-hybrid virus, including 100% of the herds tested in Illinois and Iowa, 90% of the herds tested in Kansas and Oklahoma.
And so it very rapidly spread, spread down to Mexico, and for the last eleven years has been causing sickness, and killing a small percentage of pigs in these intensive confinement units.
VOICE: Dr. Greger went on to explain that the transportation of pigs to be fattened and slaughtered is one of the ways the flu virus is likely to have traveled from North Carolina to Mexico.
Dr Michael Greger (m): Pigs don’t fly is one way to put it. Well, they don’t fly, but they are transported coast to coast here in the United States. The average distance one’s meat travels, quote unquote, “on the hoof” before reaching people’s plates is about a thousand miles in the United States. Pigs may be born in North Carolina but fattened in the corn belt of Iowa and then slaughtered in California. And by transporting these pigs thousands of miles, the stresses of transport, confined in these trucks, combined with the mixing of pigs and the transport across long geographic distances very rapidly spreads viruses like this and other viruses that affect pigs and other animals.
VOICE: Meanwhile, in Mexico City, Mexico, the mandatory shut-down of the government is being associated with an economic crisis, as the capital city loses an estimated US$60 million each day. Twelve other countries now have officially confirmed cases of the swine flu. Spain has now reported the first ever case from someone with no connection to Mexico.
We thank Dr. Greger and all the other scientists and government agencies working to understand this virus and protect public health. Our prayers go out to those who have been affected and/or lost loved ones due to this disease. May animal consumption soon be replaced with the safe, healthy and vitality-restoring veg lifestyle for the benefit of individuals and their loved ones worldwide.