More questions are arising about the origin of this strain of the swine flu, know known by the Bambi Administration as H1N1. This is all very curious since we know that it is a combo-pack of swine, avian and human viruses. The renaming of this flu from swine to H1N1 is not so much to protect the pork industry as it is to help people forget that this is a combination of viruses and to stop searching for the cause of such a curious bug.
News is coming out of Mexico about the possible ground zero for this bug starting with a 5 year old named Edgar Hernandez, but after reading the two reports I’ve seen, it is tracking with research I am doing for “Spanish Flu vs. Mexican Flu, Part 2”. As for those of you that read the link to Smithfield Foods, this is not going to surprise you.
From The Mail:
The five-year-old boy who is the earliest confirmed victim of swine flu so far has said he feels ‘great’.
Edgar Hernandez – who has since recovered – fell sick on April 2 – nearly two weeks before anybody even knew the virus existed.
Edgar is from the village of La Gloria, whose residents say officials ignored their warnings of an unexplained outbreak for weeks.
A staggering 60 per cent of the 3,000 residents of La Gloria – which lies in the shadow of a massive U.S-owned pig farm – reported getting sick, including three children aged under two, who later died.
Villagers say state officials and factory bosses claimed the outbreak was caused by chilly weather and dust in the air.
Although many others fell ill earlier than Edgar, none have yet been confirmed as having had swine flu. By last night, the overall death toll in Mexico stood at 152.
The youngster’s case came as more than 450 members of the community claimed they were suffering respiratory problems and symptoms similar to swine flu.
They claim they are ill from contamination spread by pig waste at nearby breeding farms partly owned by a U.S. company.
Edgar was treated in hospital and is now recovering, but two infants from the area died.
Mexico’s Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova told reporters a sample taken from a 4-year-old boy in Mexico’s Veracruz state in early April tested positive for swine flu.
However, it is not known when the boy became infected.
As far back as late March, roughly one-sixth of the members of this community of 3,000 in the Gulf coast state began suffering from severe respiratory infections.
They say they can directly trace the infections to a farm that lies upwind five miles (8.5 kilometres) to the north, in the town of Xaltepec.
But Jose Luis Martinez, a 34-year-old resident of La Gloria, said he knew the minute he heard about the outbreak on the news, with symptoms including a fever, coughing, joint aches, severe headache and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea.
‘When we saw it on the television, we said to ourselves, ‘This is what we had,” he said. ‘It all came from here. … The symptoms they are suffering are the same that we had here.’
Granjas Carroll de Mexico, 50 per cent owned by Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, Inc., has eight farms in the area.
Smithfield spokeswoman Keira Ullrich said the company has found no clinical signs or symptoms of the presence of swine influenza in its swine herd or its employees working at its joint ventures anywhere in Mexico.
Mexican Agriculture Department officials said yesterday that its inspectors found no sign of swine flu among pigs around the farm in Veracruz, and that no infected pigs have been found yet anywhere in Mexico.
However, the inspections may have been less than complete: Ochoa, the farm manager, said no one from the government has inspected his farm for swine flu.
But residents here say they are certain that Edgar Hernandez was not the only swine flu victim in their town.
Concepcion Llorente, a first-grade teacher in La Gloria, says authorities still owe the town some answers.
‘They said that what we had here was an atypical flu, but if the boy tested positive for swine flu, where did he get it from?’