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Test EVERY Cow in the Food Chain

Test EVERY Cow in the Food Chain
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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Man gives Pigs the Flu!

Reports are that a farmworker recently returned to Canada from a visit to Mexico infected a herd of Canadian pigs. Here is an important part of the puzzle, CDC and WHO say. Turns out, pigs DO play a significant role in the spread of this (not?) swine flu "H1N1" disease. Let us not forget that a pig by any other name is still a pig. Poor things.
I am wondering what the pork-producers have to say about the news of these newly-discovered infected pigs. Up til now, they have been saying that there are no infected pigs. That is why they made a BIG stink to the CDC to change the name of the virus. They didnt like the stigma the name "swine flu" bought upon the industry, not to mention their sales taking a dive. Wasent it nice of the CDC to be so oblidging to them? While careful not to offend the (all powerful) pork-producers of the world, you will see upon reading the report below that the focus is indeed being turned now onto "observation of pigs," so pigs aint out of the picture yet. It just might be that it may turn out, after certain discoveries and all test results are in, that to be "politically correct," we'll have to change the name back to swine flu. The pork producers of the world must be in quite a thither. They will be looking around for other sources of meat to slaughter, like horses. Mark my words.

INFLUENZA A (H1N1): ANIMAL HEALTH (06), CANADA, OIE
***************************************************
A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases


Date: Mon 4 May 2009
Source: OIE Press Release [edited]



OIE comments on the findings of "A/H1N1" in pigs in Canada
----------------------------------------------------------
The Veterinary Services of Canada announced on Sat 2 May 2009 that a
pig farm in Alberta, Canada had been infected with the "A/H1N1
virus." The infection is probably linked with the entry of a
carpenter having worked at the farm. The carpenter had flu symptoms
after a short stay in Mexico. He has now recovered. More
investigations are still ongoing.

Some pigs at the farm went off feed and showed respiratory symptoms.
The Canadian Veterinary Services decided immediately to put the farm
under quarantine. The sampled pigs tested positive to the "A/H1N1
virus." It was a mild disease and the pigs have now recovered.

According to OIE regulations this event has the status of emerging
disease and Canada is preparing an official notification to the OIE.

Because of the exceptional nature of this event and in order to make
appropriate additional scientific investigations, the Canadian
authorities may decide to maintain the farm under quarantine.

Furthermore, the OIE is waiting for the results of scientific
experiments aimed to determine the susceptibility of different animal
species vs the "A/H1N1" isolated in infected humans. This information
is awaited within the following days and will be published as soon as
available.

All previous recommendations made by the OIE before this event in
pigs in Canada remain valid, including the implementation by
Veterinary Services of biosecurity measures to protect animals from
human infections as well as strengthening relevant animal surveillance.

[Maria Zampaglione]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail


[Of course, this official recognition of a significant interspecies
event at the human animal interface is important. It is also
important to note that no recommendations of OIE have changed because
of this event.

Now that a productive discussion on the appropriate name for this
novel virus has been concluded when WHO decided to call it an H1N1
influenza, it is most important to turn our attention to increased
surveillance in swine populations, both in apparently healthy swine
herds and ones with sick animals. Furthermore, finding ways such as
vaccination strategies, to protect the swine population from events
such as happened to the 220 pigs on a farm in Alberta, Canada, is
critical for the well being of animals but also absolutely vital for
protecting the health of the human population. This incident
certainly illustrates how thin the human animal interface can be when
it comes to influenza -- we have an H1N1 virus that has the triple
reassorted genetic components of swine, avian, and human species
circulating easily among humans and now moving from a person into a swine herd.

However, this single event does not constitute circulation of the
virus among swine herds and is much less likely to happen now than
when it did on 14 Apr 2009 in Alberta, days before people were
generally knowledgeable about this novel influenza virus. Enhancing
biosecurity is now a high priority on farms and greatly reduces the
risk of another introduction to swine from humans. It is absolutely
critical that sick workers are not allowed on swine farms as has been
emphasized by pork producers since the start of this outbreak. Spread
of this virus between swine farms can be controlled much more easily
than spread in a human population and the will and incentives to
institute appropriate preventive biosecurity oriented actions are
certainly apparent, so I would guess we will not see many more
outbreaks of the new H1N1 virus on swine farms. Humans are another
story and the outcome for that species is not so clear yet.

This single event does not qualify as circulation of the new, novel
H1N1 in the swine population and therefore would not change OIE's
recommendation in their press releases of 27 and 28 Apr 2009 that
"only findings related to the circulation of this virus in pigs in
zones of countries having human cases would justify trade measures on
the importation of pigs from these countries." Thus, countries should
not restrict the swine trade or pork based on this single, isolated
incident. - Mod.PC]

[see also:
Influenza A (H1N1): animal health (05), swine, Canada, FAO 20090505.1680
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (09) 20090504.1673
Influenza A (H1N1): animal health (04), infected swine, Canada 20090502.1653
Influenza A (H1N1): animal health (03), Egypt, pig cull 20090502.1649
Influenza A (H1N1): animal health 20090430.1637
Influenza A (H1N1) "swine flu": animal health (02), Egypt, prevention
20090429.1623
Influenza A (H1N1) "swine flu": animal health 20090428.1604
Influenza A (H1N1) "swine flu": worldwide (07), update, pandemic 5
20090429.1622
Influenza A (H1N1) "swine flu": worldwide (06) 20090429.1614
Influenza A (H1N1) "swine flu": animal health 20090428.1604]
...................................pc/mj/dk

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