World’s Loneliest Pig Under Quarantine

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Quarantine mania is abating in China. Most of the 71 Mexicans who were isolated after arriving in China for fear they could spread swine flu have flown back to Mexico City on a government-chartered plane. Likewise, a group of Canadian students in the northeastern Chinese city of Changchun has been released.

But like a wily virus, quarantine mania doesn’t go out without a fight. In Afghanistan, Reuters reports that the nation’s only known pig–a gift from China–has been put under isolation at the Kabul Zoo for fear that it could spread H1N1. Golnar Motevalli writes:

The pig is a curiosity in Muslim Afghanistan, where pork and pig products are illegal because they are considered irreligious, and has been in quarantine since Sunday after visitors expressed alarm it could spread the new flu strain.

“For now the pig is under quarantine, we built it a room because of swine influenza,” Aziz Gul Saqib, director of Kabul Zoo, told Reuters. “We’ve done this because people are worried about getting the flu.”