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3 may 2009 - Mexico - Pigs rot in a cement chamber at  a Carrol Farm feed lot near Perote, Veracruz. Diseased and dead pigs are stuffed in these modules until they are full. The waste emits a fetid odour. In La Gloria, near where the farms are located, residents have been complaining about manure dumps, flies and smell from the farms for a long time. Since February, they have warned the authorities that the wastes of these pig breeding farms caused an outbreak of respiratory infections and pneumonia in 60% of their 3000 inhabitants. Mexican media has called the Carrol pig farms "ground zero" for infection. It recently was confirmed that an influenza case in the city, reported two weeks before the cases in Mexico City, was in fact the new strain of H1N1, combining genetic material from avian, swine and human influenza. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that so far there is no established evidence that this strain of the influenza A virus has entered the human population directly from pigs, but it urges national governments and the international community to step up disease surveillance in swine. FAO together with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), will send a team of experts to Mexico this week to help the government assess the epidemiologic situation in the pig production sector. A spokesperson from Smithfields Foods said there is no clinical signs of influenza being reported in pigs or employees in the farm. Photo credit: Benedicte Desrus / Sipa Press