The animals could be the carriers of a virus like the swine-to-farm virus, a pathogen that can escape from an infected pig and be transported to another group of animals. An outbreak could develop into a global illness that could kill millions of people. The disease, called rinderpest, is still not widely known in many countries, and has a life-stage time of 3 (5 years). It kills most of the animals it infects within about 6 days, but there is the potential for some animals, including goats, pigs, etc., to develop a blood disorder that could kill them in about 24 hours if not treated. The virus infects and kills all the animals in a population within 40 days and leaves very few survivors. The disease can infect cattle and other livestock and livestock itself. (Sufferers can develop the same problem as do other “diseased” humans but not as much, unless the illness is severe.) “It is thought to be a virus that is carried on the same animal by a bull. The animals are in close contact and both are in close proximity during the disease-free period. The cattle or horse then become the carriers and spread it to other animals if they eat the infected animals,” said Robert S. Taylor, a scientist at the USDA Institute of Animal Health. “We are seeing a trend in what appears to be a small number of infected animals being moved to other animals.” - The Associated Press
Tests of the pig’s feces have shown it also contains the bacillus.
Tests showed in May that a B.M.R. strain was present. - The Journal of Clinical Microbiology (October 21, 2007)
The scientists found the bacteria in the feces of three individuals who were suspected to have eaten the pigs from farms in Georgia. The same fecal sample also tested positive for the Rinderpest virus. - CDC (February 4, 2010)
According to the CDC, the virus does not transmit from person to person; the only contact the test shows with people, according to the agency, is the bite of a infected animal.
Viruses make it difficult to tell how or where the infection originated from before it spreads rapidly among the infected. For example, it often takes two weeks for someone living next to a pig to develop symptoms of the disease. The animals can become contagious even months after being found in the wild.
‘It’s a little bit unnerving to think that our pigs are spreading some kind of a pathogen that could kill us to be able to pick up on it, to be able to detect it and know that it’s been transmitted to several people,’ Dr. Taylor said. The animal’s fecal contamination with the Rinderpest virus ‘could mean there’s just more Rinderpest virus out there that’s being spread in the wild,’ Taylor said. - ( The Post and Courier, October 14, 2009)
The source is still under investigation. The source for the source, as is often the case with outbreaks, could still be within the farm. However, for this particular outbreak to have occurred at this farm, a large piglet, like a sows piglets, would have to have been present. The test also did not show the presence of an infection with the virus. So is Rinderpest a true pathogen or a virus? I find that difficult to answer at this point. Given the way scientists think that a sows piglet can become a carrier for a different virus, and given its ability to pass the virus to other pigs, there are many other factors that can affect the transmission of Rinderpest virus when they are in close contact. (Please, keep in mind, a sows piglet can be infected by a cow, and it does not take anything more to pass the virus. There are also a lot of pigs out there that carry the virus and can easily be transferred to people. It only takes a little bit of contact!)
On June 8th, it is important to know that the rinderpest outbreak in Arizona has not been stopped. The outbreak continues at a farm in central Arizona, about four hours drive north of Phoenix. The farm had been on their list of ‘Rinderpest’ suspected locations that were being watched closely, and the farm was the first found with the new infection and had not informed the AZPCC or the Pima County health department that this situation was an “ outbreak .” (The article was published on October 1, 2009.)
Arizona Department of Health and Human Services Officials are aware of the farm and have asked the people who live at the farm to contact the Tohono O’odham Nation, Arizona, to identify their homes. The infected individual did not have an address and had not been registered to move out of Phoenix. When the news media began interviewing the individuals who’d been with the infected individual, it was made clear that the person had previously consumed raw pork from