Swine Influenza update
What is Swine Influenza?
Swine Influenza is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus. Influenza in pigs is characterised by high morbidity and low mortality.
Only type A influenza viruses are of significance to pig health. The most common type A Influenza subtypes that occur in swine are H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2. Swine influenza in pigs occurs in most pig-producing countries in the world, except Australia and New Zealand, and is considered endemic in the United States of America and Mexico.
Internationally pig influenza outbreaks occur year round and many countries routinely vaccinate swine populations against Swine Influenza.
Although normally Swine influenza viruses are species specific sometimes swine influenza will cause disease in people. International outbreaks and sporadic infections in people (swine to people) have been reported occasionally in the past, but rarely has infection been reported to spread from person to person.
If you would like to find out more information about Swine Influenza please visit the following:
What would Swine Influenza look like in my pigs?
In the Australian herd, swine influenza would typically be expected to manifest as a sudden onset of respiratory disease in pigs of all ages. A large number of pigs are likely to be affected (up to 100%) but mortality is likely to be low (1-4%).
Symptoms are likely to include:
- Pigs going off feed
- Sudden onset high fever
- Discharge from eyes and nose, sneezing
- Breathing difficulties and a barking cough
- Huddling and inactivity
If your pigs show these symptoms then you should consult with your veterinary advisor or local DEPI animal health staff immediately.
What should I do?
All pig producers should maintain and enforce good on-farm biosecurity practices.
On Farm Biosecurity
- Restrict Visitor access to your property
- Be vigilant with disinfection and cleaning when people enter and leave the farm
- Keep your visitor register and risk assessments up to date
- Ensure on-farm signage directing visitors is clear and concise
- Do not admit people who have reported international travel in at least the last 7 days
- Staff who report flu-like symptoms should not work with pigs
Are you a consultant or regular visitor to swine properties?
- Contact the farm owner before making your visit
- Maintain good records regarding properties you have visited
- Follow on farm biosecurity arrangements when on property
- Avoid wearing dirty clothing or footwear on/off property
- Maintain appropriate stand down periods between visiting properties
- Have you travelled internationally in the last 7 days? Reconsider your visit
- If you have flu like symptoms then do not visit
For more detailed information regarding Biosecurity visit - Farm biosecurity - (external link)
Is it safe to eat Australian pork and pork products?
Yes. There is no influenza risk from eating pork or pork products in Australia.