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General News    H4'ed 4/8/20

Could U.S. Slaughterhouses Spread COVID-19?

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The Bronx Zoo tiger testing positive for COVID-19 is alarming news.
The Bronx Zoo tiger testing positive for COVID-19 is alarming news.
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Four meat workers have now died from the COVID-19 virus and more than 80 have tested positive the New York Times reported Friday. Three workers from Tyson's poultry plant in Camilla, GA died as well as one worker at JBS USA's Greeley, CO slaughterhouse. Tyson had already closed its Columbus Junction, IA pork slaughterhouse and JBS had already closed its Souderton, PA slaughterhouse reported the Wall Street Journal.

Other U.S. slaughterhouses have also been hit by COVID-19, an animal-originated virus. Smithfield closed its Sioux Falls, SD, slaughterhouse after 80 workers tested positive for the virus. Pennsylvania-based Empire Kosher Poultry temporarily closed its doors and the huge chicken producer, Sanderson Farms, asked employees at its Moultrie, GA slaughter operations to stay home.

In addition to management-ruled closures, employees have also walked out because of the growing number of COVID-19 infected employees and the risks on site.

Big Meat assures the public they won't "catch" COVID-19 from their products but COVID-19, like SARS and MERS, derives from eaten meat that hosted bat viruses, according to medical journals.

In fact, the tiger that tested positive for COVID-19 at the Bronx Zoo recently is a clear reminder of the family of coronaviruses' origins. Eating civet cats that hosted bat viruses is what caused the original SARS virus and outbreak according to the Journal of Virology.

COVID-19 unequivocally jumped from animals to humans says the CDC and such viruses "are common in people and [many] different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats."

"Wet markets" in China where exotic animals undergo cruel and unhygienic slaughter caused the current pandemic, as they did SARS, say experts. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House coronavirus task force says he is incredulous that wet markets are still open. "It boggles my mind how, when we have so many diseases that emanate out of that unusual human-animal interface, that we just don't shut it down," he said. "I don't know what else has to happen to get us to appreciate that."

Could the "human-animal interface" of infected U.S. meat workers breathing close to slaughtered animals and each other and exposed to blood and other animal fluids present "bi-directional" disease transmission dangers? As in--sickening the workers and contaminating the meat at the same time? It certainly does with wet markets.

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by (more...)

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