Pigs are a major factor in pandemic seasonal flu.

Fortunately, the virus found was the low pathogenic variety. The finding needs confirmation.

This is an illustration of students’ role on keeping us healthy.

Date: Fri 6 Oct 2006 Source: TempoInteractive [edited]

Bird Flu Virus Infects Pigs in Bali
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The Team of Veterinary Faculty at Udayana University has found evidence that the avian influenza (AI) virus has infected pigs in Bali. Wider scale research is now in process. The AI finding on pigs was due to college students’ research, which diagnosed several ill pigs from May to June 2006. Out of 20 pigs, 2 were positively infected by H5N1 virus. “The pigs are in Gianyar and Tabanan,” said I Gusti Ngurah Mahardika, a professor at the faculty, on Fri 6 Oct 2006.

The virus grows in ill pigs, and the pigs cannot be cured by medical treatment. [At necropsy], there are red blotches on the spleen. By [immunohistochemistry], the red blotches were viruses on the pigs’ tissue.

However, the H5N1 virus was not found in the animals’ tissue. “Probably the virus only passed by, or is called an opportunistic virus,” said Mahardika.

The finding has not yet been publicized as a scientific study, but it has been conveyed to the Bali Breeding Service as a warning.

Virus contagion, according to Mahardika, is likely because with the pattern of chicken and duck breeding, the animals are free to enter pig stalls. In Bali, 900 000 pigs live side by side with other cattle.

[Byline: Rofiqi Hasan]

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