Update: U.S. swine infected with swine flu

Well, it’s official. Over the weekend, Agriculture Department scientists found evidence that at least one pig exhibited at this year’s Minnesota state fair was infected with the pandemic H1N1 strain of swine flu. It appears to be the first such finding of this infection in U.S. livestock.

According to a statement issued today by USDA,”The infection of the fair pig does not suggest infection of commercial herds because show pigs and commercially raised pigs are in separate segments of the swine industry that do not typically interchange personnel or animal stock.”

The agency’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories is continuing to study additional biological samples collected from swine exhibited at the state fair.

I’m still waiting to hear back from USDA about how many animals remain to be tested and whether inspectors will be visiting barnyards where any infected swine had been housed.

Janet Raloff is the Editor, Digital of Science News Explores, a daily online magazine for middle school students. She started at Science News in 1977 as the environment and policy writer, specializing in toxicology. To her never-ending surprise, her daughter became a toxicologist.

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