An ailment afflicting swine flocks in both North and South America is putting them at risk for dangerous infections, according to new research published in the scientific journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

One research paper described how the birth of pigs can trigger a cluster of multi-respiratory syncytial virus infections that can ultimately result in abnormal tissue growth, loss of valuable organs, and even death. Another study found that pigs become immune to the same virus without any physical proximity to people or other animals. “In our study, all of the pigs came from farms that were adjacent to farms that had been affected by CRSV-related mortality,” said one of the authors.

Still another study highlighted another reason to shy away from preparing pork: the immunity pigs develop from the one-time infection can last for their entire lifetimes. It’s bad enough that North American pigs are predisposed to the same horrifying disease that is so prevalent in their European counterparts. But there may be good reason that we should avoid talking about that, too: The virus had evolved to attack pigs rather than people.


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Adolphus Busch II, the longtime head of Anheuser-Busch, died on March 26 at the age of 98