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Stepped Up Biosecurity Helps Reduce Risk of Influenza

9 March 2017, at 12:00am

CANADA - A veterinary Pathologist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine reports stepped up biosecurity measures to combat the spread of diseases like Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea will also help reduce the risk of spreading influenza in pigs, writes Bruce Cochrane.

As with people, the primary influenza season for pigs typically runs from late October, early November until about early April.

Dr Susan Detmer, a veterinary pathologist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says we typically see the number of cases peak in November and December and again in March and April.

Dr Susan Detmer-Western College of Veterinary Medicine

The two diseases that we're most concerned about moving in Canada are PED which is the diarrhea and the PRRS virus, the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus and most of the precautions to keep those out of a farm work for flu.

If you're going to quarantine animals that are new to your farm to prevent those diseases, that's also going to help them get over any influenza because if they contract influenza during a movement from one farm to another then they should get over that infection within two weeks and stop shedding so, if you have a 30 day quarantine, that will help.

If you're cleaning the truck, that's also important but make sure you're cleaning everything the pig touches like the paddles and the sorting boards because those surfaces also transmit virus and people often forget to clean those.

Then certainly the number one biosecurity issue with influenza is humans.

Because humans go in and out, it is important to consider wearing a mask to prevent the transmission of flu between pigs and people.

Dr Detmer notes influenza can be transmitted over air so if any farms or pigs near your farm have influenza there's a chance of it getting into your farm if you don't have air filtration.

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