The A(H1N1) swine flu virus has struck a pig farm in Buenos Aires province in Argentina—the second known instance of the pandemic virus infecting pigs.
The outbreak was announced in a statement by Argentina’s food safety agency SENASA on Wednesday; yesterday, Dow Jones Newswires reported that at least five animals have tested positive for the virus so far. It’s not clear where the virus came from, but “we have a very strong hypothesis” that the pigs were infected by a human, SENASA Director Jorge Amaya said in a television interview, since no pigs had been introduced to the farm for at least 60 days. The number of reported human cases in Argentina is rising rapidly, and now stands at 1391, with 22 deaths.
The only previously known case of swine infection with the new A(H1N1) occurred at a farm in Alberta, Canada; how the pigs caught the virus is still unclear.