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Pig meningitis case found in New York

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Mar 27, 2006
By dvm360.com staff

ITHACA, N.Y. - 3/27/06 - Dr. Ruth Zadoks, a Cornell University veterinarian, recently helped identify three different strains of pig meningitis in the first documented North American case that occurred last year.

Streptococcus suis is transmittable to humans through handling pigs and pork. Farmers and butchers are the predominate victims of the disease.

A New York farmer contracted the bacteria in the summer of 2005 and was treated with antibiotics, making a full recovery. However, death has occurred in severe cases in Asia.

Slaughtering and cutting carcasses of dead pigs increases the risk of infection, according to a Cornell press release.

Like avian flu, the disease is transmissible in circumstances where animals and humans live in close contact.

At this point, the disease is not expected to spread from one human to another, according to Cornell authorities.

The case and Zadok's research is outlined in the March 23rd issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.