Newscasts

PBS Daily Newscast - July 8, 2020 


Mary Trump's book labels our president a reckless leader who paid a pal to take his SAT test; Nevada lawmakers address pandemic shortfalls.

2020Talks - July 7, 2020 


Biden's climate change task force is making some progress; a federal judge orders the Dakota Access Pipeline shut down; and today sees elections in NJ and DE.

Swine Flu, Week 3: Animal Health Wake-Up Call

May 4, 2009

Salem, OR – The H1N1 virus has made its unwelcome appearance in Oregon, with three confirmed cases and 19 more being tested, according to the state Public Health Division. Most of the focus so far has been on human health, preventing more people from being infected with the illness, commonly known as the "swine flu." The Pew Environment Group, which a year ago predicted something like the current outbreak, says the scare should call attention to animal health, and prompt better living conditions for pigs, poultry and cattle on industrial farms.

Bob Martin, senior officer at Pew, says they suggested that antibiotics be used sparingly on farm animals so they don't become resistant, and that farm workers be tested regularly for communicable diseases, to prevent epidemics.

"We said, 'This is a very strong worry we have.' We really, at the time, were saying, it’s not a matter of 'if,' but 'when.' It's a little bit frustrating when you issue a report and nothing happens, and then the situation that you fear comes to fruition. It's tragic."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Oregon is not a major pork producer, but Martin notes similar disease problems also have occurred with cattle and poultry. He says the situation won’t be much safer for humans until the living conditions are safer for animals. Over the weekend, the number of confirmed cases of the H1-N1 virus or "swine flu" in Oregon rose to 3...with another 19 considered 'probable.'

Bob Martin, a Pew senior officer, says keeping animals in close proximity and warm conditions makes it easy for viruses and bacteria to mutate – and infect farm workers.


"Like viral incubators – there might be 10,000 to 15,000 pigs in one facility, and prolonged exposure of the workers, staying in the barn in the environment with the pigs."

It’s “Week Three” of the swine flu scare…and some say it could have been prevented. Chris Thomas has more.

cattle and poultry.

Martin can be reached at (202) 887-8816. The Pew report is online at www.ncifap.org . Public Health Division flu updates are at www.flu.oregon.gov .

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR