Experts: Don't Blame Pigs for Swine Flu

H1N1 virus likely arose among jet-setting humans
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2009 6:09 AM CDT
Pigs stand on a farm on the outskirts of Xicaltepec in Mexico's Veracruz state, near where the H1N1 virus was first found.   (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)
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(Newser) – The humble porker shouldn't be the one taking the blame for the H1N1 virus, scientists tell the Los Angeles Times. Pigs provided some of the raw material for the virus, experts say, but so did birds and humans. The most likely incubators and spreaders of the virus, according to scientists, were jet-setting humans whose bodies mixed and matched different strains of flu.

"The easy way out is to blame the pig," said one leading flu expert. "This is a human virus." Scientists say measures like Egypt's mass slaughter of pigs will do nothing to stop the spread of the virus and stress that the only confirmed case of H1N1 in pigs so far has been in a herd in Canada—which caught it from a human.