UCLA scientists have found an exact strain of human flu virus in up to 89 percent of the pigs they tested in some African villages, making that continent - ground zero for a new pandemic. The danger is the virus could again mutate within swine, infect other pigs and then jump to humans, causing widespread death for people with limited resistance to the new strain of sickness.
The scientists say the H1N1 virus found in Cameroon is virtually identical to a virus found in people in San Diego just a year earlier, providing an astonishing example of how quickly the flu can spread all over the globe. Thomas Smith, director of the UCLA Center for Tropical Research, says - the fact pigs in Africa are infected with the H1N1 flu virus illustrates the remarkable interconnectedness of the modern world with respect to diseases.
Researchers say the danger to industrialized countries from contagion caused by wild pigs in places like Africa is just as strong as it is to the impoverished villages where people must live amidst their foraging livestock.