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National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases

A man working in a  swine slaugherhouse

Investigation of Progressive Inflammatory Neuropathy Among Swine Slaughterhouse Workers

Progressive Inflammatory Neuropathy (PIN) is a syndrome that appears to be associated with swine slaughterhouse workers who process pig heads.

A survey of the 25 federally inspected U. S. swine slaughterhouses with more than 500 employees indicated that only three plants (one each in Minnesota, Nebraska and Indiana) reported recent use of compressed air to extract pig brains. The Minnesota Department of Health confirms 17 cases fitting the epidemiologic case definition of PIN. There have been 6 cases fitting the epidemiologic case definition identified in Indiana. There has been 1 case fitting the epidemiologic case definition identified in Nebraska. To date, no cases have had onset of their illness after December 2007. The brain removal process was discontinued in Minnesota and Nebraska in December 2007, and in Indiana in January 2008.


Page last modified: May 13, 2008
Content Source: National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (ZVED)