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Ontario reports first pig-to-human H1N1 case

The first Ontario case of a human contracting the H1N1 variant influenza virus from a pig has been confirmed, the province’s chief medical officer said Tuesday.

“It is a first for us in Ontario,” Dr. Arlene King told the Star.

King said an adult male, who is in critical but stable condition in hospital, came down with symptoms of the influenza virus strain after close contact with pigs either in Canada or the U.S. The case was confirmed Sunday after laboratory tests were conducted.

King refused to say where the case was confirmed.

“I think it’s important to remember that this does not pose a threat to the public (generally),” she told the Star, adding it is rare for the virus to leap from animals to humans, and even rarer for person-to-person transmission of the H1N1 variant virus.

“I would also like to stress that this is not a food safety issue; the consumption of properly cooked pork continues to be safe. Proper cooking of meats, including pork, kills all bacteria and viruses,” King stated in an earlier news release.

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