Flu virus found in Canada hog herds

Wed Sep 2, 2009 2:47pm EDT
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By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - The H1N1 pandemic flu virus spread in June to several hog farms in the Western Canadian province of Manitoba, but the hogs later recovered and there was no cause for concern, the province's chief veterinary officer said on Wednesday.

The virus was discovered in several Manitoba herds, including sow barns, nursery barns and feeder barns in various locations in the province, said Dr. Wayne Lees in an interview.

"Pigs get influenzas just like people do," he said. "The important thing for the general public (to know) is there's no risk from pork."

More herds are likely to become infected this fall if an expected second wave of the pandemic appears, Lees said.

Manitoba is Canada's top pig-producing province with 9 million born annually.

The herds were not quarantined, but their movement was limited to prevent the virus's transmission to other herds, Lees said.

No flu-related pig deaths occurred. The infected sows, piglets, feeder and finished pigs recovered within four to seven days of becoming sick.

Lees first reported the infection in the August 24 ProMED newsletter of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, but it only became more widely known on Wednesday.   Continued...