Pan-Frying Your Walrus on Medium? Better Turn Up the Heat!

Let’s get this out of the way: I think walruses are super cute. I think pigs are pretty cute too, but I have no qualms about eating bacon.

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The CDC has issued a warning about eating under cooked gaming meat.  There have been two outbreaks of trichinosis, caused by a roundworm, in the last year in Alaska. It should be noted that walrus can only be hunted by Alaskan natives for food or utility purposes. One family was diagnosed after eating walrus meat cooked to “medium”, another after eating it raw.

Trichinosis is usually linked with black bear or polar meat. Multiple outbreaks of trichinosis haven’t been associated with walrus meat since 1992. Symptoms may include diarrhea, vomiting, swelling of the face, fever, muscle soreness, and difficulty coordinating movement. It is treatable by prescription drugs.

Cheers to the walrus!

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German authorities warn of swine flu mutation risk

Germany’s federal agency for infectious diseases said on Tuesday there were signs the H1N1 swine flu virus had started to mutate and warned it could spread in the coming months in a more aggressive form…

WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said recently the virus is currently “pretty stable,” but warned it could still change into a more deadly form, perhaps mixing with the H5N1 bird flu virus circulating widely in poultry.”

Oh, man.  If swine flu and bird flu mix into a virus easily spread among people, that would really, really suck.  But, I think a lot people are just saying things to be alarmists.  I’m not ashamed to admit I am one of them.

Current stats: 5,5867 confirmed cases world-wide, and 238 deaths.

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Don’t Eat Infected Pigs

As much as I love bacon, I will not be eating any bacon that comes from a pig infected with the H1N1 virus.

The WHO states that it is “possible for flu viruses to survive the freezing process and be present in thawed meat, as well as in blood.” They are slightly more cautious than the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), which say “import bans are not required to safeguard public health because the disease is not food-borne and has not been identified in dead animal tissue.”

The director of WHO’s Department of Food Safety says that “…blood (and meat-juice) from influenza H1N1-infected pigs may potentially contain virus, but at present, this has not been established.”

After reading about dead pigs and blood and meat juices, I’m really not that hungry for bacon anymore anyways.

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Slowing Down?

The number of confirmed cases is now at 787, as the number of backlogged cases have been processed.  Mexico says the numbers have stabilized in their country.

In a new twist, Canada is reporting that a pig has caught swine flu from a person who had it.

Speaking of pigs, Egyptians have been fighting with police over the order to cull all their pigs.  Sadly, it looks like they will all be eating less delicious bacon.

Things seem to be calming down.  But as the Boston Globe reports:

“More concerning is whether the virus will return, perhaps harder, when regular influenza begins its march here. Flu season in the Southern Hemisphere is about to begin, and U.S. authorities will watch how the swine flu circulates there over the coming months as they prepare the first vaccine and then decide whether to order that large amounts of it be produced in the fall.

Even if the new virus doesn’t prove as potent as authorities feared, Besser said that doesn’t mean the U.S. and World Health Organization overreacted in racing to prevent a pandemic, or worldwide spread, of a virus never before seen.

With a new infectious disease, “you basically get one shot, you get one chance to try to reduce the impact,” Besser said. “You take a very aggressive approach and as you learn more information you can tailor your response.”

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