After the recent spread of swine flu which has engulfed the world becoming the dominant form of flu, it seems yet another blow has been struck for world health. Almost ten thousands cases of 'Man Flu' have been confirmed among pigs.
It is not yet known whether the virus can re-infect humans, but it appears to have immobilized the international pig community.
The strain of the virus, H7Q5, has previously only been recorded in human males, and was thought impossible to transmit to animals. The effects of the condition are to cause a severe fever and partial incapacity, lasting from a few hours up to a week, with very few obvious symptoms to be detected by others.
A WHO representative, Pete Townsend, warned farmers:
"It can be very difficult to identify the illness. The disease has spread, as it has, due to the fact that the symptoms look like nothing more than laziness to the untrained eye. However if identified a simple cure can be effected by showing the animals live sport for several hours or merely introducing a high level of alcohol to their feed."
Despite this reassurance panic has been the main reaction to the crisis. Across Central America up to thirty thousand pigs have already been slaughtered, for fear of a repeat of the swine flu disaster.
In the UK, though to be the source of the virus, certain exports have been suspended for the time being, and Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has stated that he will if necessary be there to save the world, yet again.