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China halts pork exports from 2 cities
(Bloomberg/China Daily)
Updated: 2005-07-26 06:08

Chinese authorities halted exports of pork products from two cities in southwest China, where a disease linked to pigs has killed 19 people and left 61 others ill, Bloomberg cited the Hong Kong government as saying.

A woman walks past a display of fresh pork at a supermarket in Hong Kong yesterday.?Hong Kong is on the alert after a mystery disease killed 19 in Southwest China, with the city’s two main supermarket chains suspending sales of frozen pork from Sichuan.
A woman walks past a display of fresh pork at a supermarket in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is on the alert after a mystery disease killed 19 in Southwest China, with the city's two main supermarket chains suspending sales of frozen pork from Sichuan. [AFP]
Pork products from the cities of Ziyang and Neijiang in Sichuan province were suspended as a precautionary measure, the Hong Kong Health Department said in a statement late Monday. China is the world's biggest pork producer.

Initial lab tests in China suggest those affected were suffering from streptococcus suis infections related to the slaughter or handling of infected pigs, it said. The bacteria is endemic in swine in most pig-rearing countries, and human infections are possible, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bloomberg reported.

The symptoms displayed by those infected include acute fever, headaches and dizziness, according to China's Health Ministry. The more serious cases can cause meningitis and send a patient in a coma, it said. The ministry said on its Web site that it hasn't detected any human-to-human transmissions.
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