Mysterious illness affects 11 pork plant workers

05-12-2007 | |

State health officials in the US announced on Monday that 11 workers at a Minneapolis pork processing plant fell ill with a rare neurological disorder between December last and July this year.

Five employees at the company in question, Quality Pork Processors (with a total of 1,300 employees), were confirmed to be inflicted with a rare disease known as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), which normally afflicts fewer than two people from every 100,000.

The disease can result in nerve damage and disability. It may have struck 11 out of about 100 people in a particular area within the plant.

State officials have confirmed that there is no identified risk to the public or to food supplies.

Suraj Muley, associate professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota, commented that in the case of these workers, “the question remains whether the pigs slaughtered at the plant harbour the bacteria or the virus that triggered CIDP”.

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• Quality Pork Processors

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