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pigs can contract ebola




Not even suren where to let my mind wander on the possibilities.


Other than to say that from a public health point of view the current or an even more concentrated configuration of "the industry" is probably preferable to everybody having a pig and a few hens in their backyards. At least there is some degree of isolation and biosecurity.


From a business point of view even a modest outbreak would have the potential to put an end to "the industry." And durn near "agriculture" as we know it.


A systemic degree of financial risk and that's just a little piece of the larger whole.

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Senior Contributor

Re: pigs can contract ebola

Did a little digging on this today. Here are a few facts that are probably important to point out with this ebola making headlines now and the critical distinctions between it and the disease that could potentially hit livestock like hogs.


The one most dangerous to hogs is Ebola-Reston. It's in the same family of viruses as the Ebola that's the culprit in the current West Africa outbreak, but it's a different disease. There's one key difference: Ebola-Reston can be transmitted by aerosol means, or transmission via the air. So, in theory, if it did get into a hog building, it'd be rough. But, the Ebola that's making headlines now is only trasmitted via direct contact with infected bodily fluids. Like, if somebody sneezes in your face and it gets in your nose, eyes, etc.


So, it seems like we're talking about 2 different diseases with different transmission means.


What do you think? Do you think it's something to be worried about, or do you think our medical -- human and animal -- systems and infrastructure could handle it?


Also, if it did come here in the form of either human or livestock infection, how do you think the markets, from the equities to grains and livestock, would react?


Here are a few resources for more information:


Frequently asked questions on Ebola virus disease


Questions and Answers about Ebola-Reston virus in pigs, Philippines


Ebola Virus in Philippine Pigs – Update


Ebola Reston Virus Infection of Pigs: Clinical Significance and Transmission Potential


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Veteran Contributor

Re: pigs can contract ebola

I think I'm glad I don't own any pigs
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Re: pigs can contract ebola

Hi Jeff,


Tried to make a reply yesterday but it went somewhere. Might be hiding around somewhere.


According to the Manitoba study cited in the article, they're also susceptible to the Zaire strain although possibly through direct contact.  I don't know, obviously, but don't see it as a production threat per se, so much as a matter of if there wwere to be full blown panic over cases spreading in humans in the developed world and there was a single report of an outbreak in hogs, fergeddaboudit. Nobody is going to eat a single fork full for a very long time.


I think that our public health system is more than likely up to the challenges of the current situation. The problem comes at the source. WHO estimated that if cases are doubling every 20 days there would be 1.2 million by January (they didn't extrapolate beyond that.)


It has to be stopped at the source. If it gets into the major cities of the third world it is going to be almost impossible to keep out of the developed world.


BTW, it is pretty easy to sound callous in forgetting about the present victims and those at risk. And to admire the courage of thousands of people who are putting themselves at risk to fight it.


Also think that a global epidemic would almost undoubtedly tip a still fragile economy over in a big way. I can't handicap the probability- I'd say still unlikely but far from impossible that it gets out of control.


Yes, we were probably late in moving on it although I don't recall members of either party being out in front of it particularly.


It isn't as though it wasn't in the news for a long time if you were looking but I happen to have been hearing about it through mission contacts for many months.  It's not like nobody knew.

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Senior Contributor

Re: pigs can contract ebola

I got thrown under the bus for making such a off the wall comment about ebolah and here you are talking about it getting into our food system all I can say is we need some leadership meeting at the top and this probably never would have happened. Letting a disease like that enter our borders ISUS probably smiling ear to ear. 

Senior Advisor

Re: pigs can contract ebola

The worry is, when the virus mutation occurs
it can jump species. A worrysome point is
One of the airborne strains could jump to
There was alot of talk a while back when
We were starting to use pigs in human in point....heart valves

I remember back a ways, most flu vaccine is
Made using eggs. There was a chicken virus
Going around, and.there was a shortage of
Virus free eggs.

Kind of spooky now. Used to be hogs scattered. All over, now in big body, one
gets sick they all get it. Same with chickens.

The second half of that problem,

Most are corporation workers, so if something don't look right you do
Noting, its above your pay grade.
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Esteemed Advisor

Re: pigs can contract ebola

Jeff - when something has turned into a  "factory " or " industry "   or anything of huge magnatude we are introduced to consiquences of the same perportion --- Detriot and or subscription counts a being a prime example ---interesting being the  "confinmet help wanted " ads that are a stable in our local news  that the  " experts " refuse to address " WHY " ---    

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Re: pigs can contract ebola



Vast sums went into biosecurity/homeland security funding via the Bush Stimulus.  Hopefully there are things of value in place.


There have been cuts to HIH and other public health institutions via the sequester etc. Likewise, hope that the essential elements are still there.

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Senior Advisor

Re: pigs can contract ebola

Yes, there were quite a few new fire engines
Bought with the homeland defence money
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Senior Advisor

Re: pigs can contract ebola

My little volunteer Dept. must have gotten some of the old crap they got rid of.

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