Pork producers watching for H1N1
The USDA and the pork industry are working together in preparation for the expected second round of the H1N1 virus in the coming months. Dr. Paul Sundberg is vice president of science and technology with the National Pork Board, he says there currently is no known case of pigs having the virus in the United States and their goal is to keep it that way. However, it is also prudent to have a plan in place should an infection occur.
There are three areas of surveillance under way. One is to keep an eye on any sick people working with hogs, should an individual be diagnosed with H1N1, those swine with which they might have been in contact with will be tested. Another area being watched is the first point of concentration such as fairs, buying stations and the like where pigs come together for the first time, and any signs of a sick pig would prompt testing. The third source would be from samples submitted by veterinarians to diagnostic labs.
If a case of H1N1 is confirmed by a diagnostic lab, the lab will notify USDA and the state animal health official. The state animal health official will in turn notify the attending veterinarian and the producer. USDA will notify the World Animal Health Organization (OIE).
The state animal health official, attending veterinarian and producer will work together to manage the disease in the herd. Sick pigs will not be allowed to move out of the herd until they are approved for movement by the state health official.