Management of 2009 H1N1


General Facts

Influenza Change






"From what we understand, the pigs are at more risk from people than people are from the pigs,"
                                                                                                              - Dr. Snelson
Communication Director
American Association of Swine Veterinarians

Image from Sask Prok.

How should swine producers respond?



     According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
1 (CFIA):
  • Quarantine will not be imposed on swine herds:
    1. Currently there is no evidence suggesting that animals play a significant role in the  2009 H1N1 pandemic
    2. The 2009 H1N1 exhibits similar clinical signs to that of other influenza viruses commonly found in swine
  • However, swine producers should continue appropriate veterinary management and biosecurity protocols utilized for any other swine influenza viruses
    • Minimize movement in and out of farm
    • Isolation: ex. "all-in all-out" system
    • Sanitation: ex. proper manure storage, avoid equiptment sharing among different farms
    • Herd health management: ex. employ veterinary services 
    • Progarm maintanence: ex. provide CE for personnel
How should infected herds be treated?

  • If virus is detected in a herd, surveillance measures should be taken to ensure that all infected animals recover2
  • Animal movement during the time of outbreak should be restricted3
  • Culling of infected animals is not recommended as it does not effectively safeguard against human infection with 2009 H1N13
Should swine be vaccinated?

  • Current swine influenza vaccines do not provide adequate protection against 2009 H1N1
  • More research is required to determine the effectiveness of vaccinating specifically against 2009 H1N14

How can swine be protected against 2009 H1N1 infection?


   WHO recommendation5 include:
  • Seggregating swine and poultry production
  • Avoid contact with pigs exhibiting flu-like symptoms
  • Avoid contact with pigs if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms
  • Practice appropriate biosecurity
  • Maintain proper ventilation system 
  • Vaccinate personnel against seasonal influenza A virus
    • Though seasonal influenza virus vaccines is unlikely to induce humoral immunity against 2009 H1N1, the vaccination can enhance the immune system in general and thus minimize cross-species transmission4,6
    • Exposure to swine does increase the risk of zoonosis for personnel7
How should personnel (including veterinary students) protect themselves againt 2009 H1N1?

     As mentioned above:
  • Since the 2009 H1N1 is transmitted via human-to-human contact, all precautions taken against the seasonal influenza virus apply
  • Practice proper personal hygiene
    • Wash hands with warm water and soap
    • Sneeze into sleeves
  • Employ appropriate biosecurity protocols
  • For detailed information on treatment and prevention of 2009 H1N1, please consult the Public Health Agency of Canada.
What percautions should veterinarians take when investigating respiratory diseases in swine?


      Recommendation by CFIA
1 include:
  • Veterinarians are encouraged to call ahead of time before visiting swine farms
  • Keep a written log of all swine farms visited
  • Vehicles must be parked in designated stalls or as far away from the barn as possible
  • Strict biosecurity protocols should be employed
  • Hands should be washed thoroughly after animal handling
  • Clean and sanitize vehicle
  • Prioritize work: attend low risk animals before examing high risk animals
  • Avoid/minimize contact with manure storage, feed and water supplies
  • If swine flu is suspected, avoid going to another swine farm for 48 hours.



1. Canadian Food Inspection Agency (2009). H1N1 Flue Virus - Advice for Veterinarians and Swine Producers. Accessed September 18, 2009

2. CFIA, 2009. Management of Pandemic H1N1 in Swine Herds. Accessed September 18, 2009.

3. World Organization for Animal Health (2009). Pandemic (H1N1) 2009: the OIE Reiterates Its Recommendations to Animal Health Authorities Worldwide. Accessed September 18, 2009.

4. American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV). American Association of Swine Veterinarians Position Statement on Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza. Accessed September 18, 2009.

5. World Health Organization (WHO). What you need to know about Novel Influenza A (H1N1). Accessed September 18, 2009.

6. Center for Disease Control and Prevention  (2009). Serum cross-reactive antibody response to a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus after vaccination with seasonal influenza vaccine. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 58 (19): 521-4.

7. Myers, K., Olsen, C., Setterquist, S., Capuano, A., Donham, K., Thacker, E., et al. (2006). Are swine workers in the united states at increased risk of infection with zoonotic influenza virus? Clinical Infectious Diseases, 42(1), 14.

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