Cash windfall reportedly took villagers two days to distribute

Swine flu in brief: 02/05/2009

Mexico shuts down

Mexico started a five-day shutdown of most offices and businesses yesterday to try to halt the spread of the infection. Officials said they were encouraged by signs the number of new cases was falling.

Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said public hospitals that treat roughly half the country admitted just 46 patients with severe flu symptoms on Thursday, down from 212 patients on April 20. "This is encouraging," he said. Mexico has so far reported 176 deaths from the new strain of the H1N1 virus.

Farmers fear pigs may get swine flu from people

Humans have it. Pigs don't. At least not yet, and US pork producers are doing everything they can to make sure that the new H1N1 virus, known around the world as the "swine flu," stays out of their herds.

Swine flu may leave travellers uninsured

If you're heading off on holiday shortly, make sure you check your travel insurance small print before you go as the swine flu outbreak could make your policy invalid.

Jane Merrick: Brown ambushed on Gurkhas, and Clegg's finest hour

Firstly, let's get swine flu out of the way. Gordon Brown announced three new cases in the UK, which was rather extraordinary. Why not an announcement by the Department of Health? Is it for the Prime Minister to reveal this to the House?

Swine flu: Was first victim a modern Typhoid Mary?

Authorities admit that census taker transmitted the virus door-to-door

Vela back in Arsenal training after swine flu concern

Mexico striker Carlos Vela has returned to training with Arsenal after being held out of practice due to fears over swine flu.

Tracking swine flu - Live map

Follow the incoming reports of swine flu globally with the below map, updated by users with reports of potential cases.

Jeremy Laurance: Getting drugs to those in need is the biggest challenge

One puzzling question about the swine flu outbreak in Mexico and the US is why the same virus appears to have had such different effects in the two countries.

Swine flu closes football stadiums

A surreal quality came to Mexican football on Sunday as a league game between clubs America and Tecos was played in a nearly empty Aztec Stadium, the giant 100,000-seat facility closed to the public because of the outbreak of swine flu.

Steve Connor: Disturbing echoes of the great 1918 flu pandemic

Pigs are notorious incubators of influenza viruses and can be infected with more than one type of virus from different species. This is why they are believed to be critical in the evolution of new influenza flu viruses that can jump the "species barrier" from animals into humans to cause pandemic flu.

The Worm Forgives The Plough, By John Stewart Collis

"I am not quite normal in my love of the sun," mused this academic-turned-farmhand. "Especially in March". At the age of 40 in 1940, Collis volunteered for the Land Army. .

Alex James: Everyone ought to keep chickens

Rural Notebook

Ad's claim on pig welfare misled public

Pork adverts which maintained British pigs have "very high welfare standards" were misleading and must not be used again, a watchdog ruled today.

Joanna Lumley: Make a pledge to protect our pigs

When you see the tail-docking and castration, you are tempted to despair

Simon Carr: £100bn – the price of a pig in a poke

Sketch: What's in those boxed-up securities, do you think? Darling doesn't know, Brown doesn't know
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