It's either a cover-up of some horrible disease or a big prank. I'm waiting for the WHO on this one, but China is denying it. Here's All Headline News with the story:
"Beijing, China (AHN) - The municipal health bureau of Beijing, China on Sunday denied reports there is an outbreak of disease caused by pork dishes in the Chinese capital.
Zhao Chunhi, deputy hear of the bureau dismissed the report circulating through text messages which says Chinese pork has been contaminated with a virus that can cause a serious disease.
Zhao said, "It's simply not true," China's official Xinhua news reported.
Over the weekend, there were text messages that were circulating in Beijing, warning people not to eat pork in the city. The message reads, "Don't eat pork! Pork in Beijing has been contaminated by a virus that can cause pyogenic encephalitis."
But Zhao said there is no truth in the text messages as he dismissed another rumor that officials of major hospitals in Beijing had conducted an emergency meeting to address the situation.
He said, "Pork sold in Beijing has to meet strict standards. It is perfectly fit for consumption."
Now here comes the fun part, the home game! If this is real, what virus could it be?
The first and most obvious candidate would be the Nipah Virus, which caused a pretty nasty outbreak of encephalitis in Malaysian pig farms in 1999. This virus is very rapid in it's progression, and is associated with pigs. Second runner up would probably be the Japanese Encephalitis Virus which, while usually transmitted by a mosquito, can be carried by pigs as reservoirs.
The problem is, the term "pyogenic" usually refers to bacterial disease. Bacteria tend to be the pathogens that create a lot of puss and abscesses. And yet the messages state that the pork has been infected with a virus. This, as the robots' say, "does not compute."
So either the messages meant to say "hemorrhagic" - which is what viruses tend to like to cause, or they meant to say "bacteria." Of course, there's always option three - the originator of the messages does not know very much about pathology, and thus it is likely a hoax.
My opinion: wait for the WHO or Snopes to issue a report on this, but it's likely complete bullshit.