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The Washington Post reports that there is a new virus that is sweeping through China, wiping out entire herds of pigs and driving up pork prices there by more than 85 percent during the past year. According to the Chinese government, the deaths count as an epidemic but are under control.

The Post reports: “China says it is moving swiftly to stop the infections by quarantining and slaughtering the affected pigs. It says its researchers have developed an effective vaccine in record time for the likely cause -- blue ear pig disease, a reproductive and respiratory illness that is highly fatal in pigs but that so far does not seem to pose danger to humans. And it maintains that it has been ‘open and transparent’ all along.

“Some experts, both inside and outside China, are skeptical, citing the government's handling of the avian flu outbreak in 2004 and SARS in 2002 and 2003. While China's central government has made numerous improvements since then in how it deals with infectious disease control and informs the public, it has once again been slow to share scientific data and tissue samples with other countries.”
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