SMITHFIELD, Va. — Although more than 1,600 people have become ill and more than 100 have died so far in Mexico because of a swine influenza outbreak, no clinical signs or symptoms of the illness have been found in Smithfield Foods’ swine herd or its employees at its joint ventures based in that country, the company stated in a news release.

Smithfield’s Mexican operations are cooperating with Mexican officials to investigate the possible sources of the outbreak and will send samples from its swine herds to The University of Mexico for testing.

The company said it has no reason to believe that the virus is "in any way" connected to its operations in Mexico. Smithfield points out its joint ventures in Mexico routinely administer influenza virus vaccinations to their swine herds and conduct monthly tests for the presence of swine influenza.