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Posted Tue Sep 1 2009: from Environmental Health Perspectives:
Swine CAFOs and Novel H1N1 Flu: Separating Facts from Fears potential source of the original outbreak--swine farming in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)--has received comparatively little attention by public health officials. CAFOs house animals by the thousands in crowded indoor facilities. But the same economy-of-scale efficiencies that allow CAFOs to produce affordable meat for so many consumers also facilitate the mutation of viral pathogens into novel strains that can be passed on to farm workers and veterinarians, according to Gregory Gray, director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.... Gray says workers exposed routinely to livestock can pass these zoonotic infections--which transmit readily among humans and animals--on to the wider public. However, public health agencies that monitor risks from zoonotic infections routinely overlook CAFO workers, according to Ellen Silbergeld, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
[Read more stories about: corporate farming, pandemic, superbugs]
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