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South America Aims to Eradicate Swine Flu by 2020

24 July 2012, at 10:03am

COLOMBIA - Representatives from 19 North and Latin American countries are meeting this week with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Pereira, Colombia, ElComercio.com reports, in a bid to eradicate swine flu by 2020.

The representatives are looking to improve a plan that was put in place in 2002.

Swine flue has caused millions of dollars worth of losses amongst pigs in South America.

"This disease is a threat to food security and a major obstacle to international trade and livestock development," FAO said.

Until 2011, South America had managed to control the disease, however in early 2011 three outbreaks occurred in the southwest Guatemalan state of Sacatepequez.

The incidences have had dire consequences for Guatemala, which is paying high costs to control the disease, FAO said. This has also forced neighboring countries to protect their borders against any incoming health threats.