Defending Australian pigs from swine flu

29 MAY 2009

There are renewed warnings for Australian pig farmers to implement and maintain strict biosecurity measures in the wake of the spread of the new influenza A (H1N1) across the country.

There are renewed warnings for Australian pig farmers to implement and maintain strict biosecurity measures in the wake of the spread of the new influenza A (H1N1) across the country.
 
“We must prevent the virus from entering Australian pigs which are, and have always been, disease free,” said CSU’s Associate Professor in Veterinary Pathobiology, Shane Raidal.
 
“Owners of pigs should prevent: contact between pigs and people with a fever; pigs and people who have had contact with cases of swine influenza in humans; and pigs and people who have returned from overseas, particularly the Americas, in the last seven  to 10 days,” said Associate Professor in Diagnostic Pathology, John Glastonbury.
 
“Owners of pigs should notify a veterinarian immediately if they observe signs of respiratory disease in their pigs.”
 
However both CSU academics have stressed that Australian pork is still safe to eat.
 
As H1N1 spreads into the Australian community, CSU experts available to discuss various aspects of the infection include;
  • Specialist in infectious disease and senior lecturer with the School of Biomedical Sciences at Wagga Wagga, Dr Heather Cavanagh, says “I urge people to practice high hygiene standards such as hand-washing and seek medical attention if flu-like symptoms persist or appear particularly severe”.
  • Associate Professor in Diagnostic Pathology, John Glastonbury, can discuss how the disease has developed in pigs and humans.
  • CSU’s Associate Professor in Veterinary Pathobiology, Shane Raidal, can address the re-assortment amongst and evolution of influenza viruses, discussing the possible development of a new strain by the ‘merging’ of common human influenza viruses and the newer H1N1.

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