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Advice for veterinarians and swine producers – swine influenza

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What is swine influenza

Swine influenza (flu) is an infectious respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses. The disease is commonly seen throughout the world. Type A influenza viruses also affect a range of other animals, as well as humans.

Influenza viruses are commonly detected in pigs, which can become infected by humans, birds or other pigs. The main sub-types of influenza circulating in pigs in Canada are H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2. Swine influenza viruses do not normally infect people; however, there have been infrequent human infections from these viruses. Cases usually occur following direct or indirect exposure to pigs in settings such as farms or agricultural fairs. The CFIA encourages veterinarians and producers to maintain strong biosecurity measures to limit any risks to human or animal health.

Symptoms in pigs

Signs of swine influenza include the following:

How to protect pigs

The following actions can potentially prevent swine influenza:

Precautions producers should take to limit the risk of introducing and spreading disease

Producers should follow the national swine farm-level biosecurity standard posted on the Canadian Pork Council's website.

Precautions veterinarians should take when investigating respiratory illnesses in swine

The CFIA recommends that veterinarians:

For more detailed information on biosecurity measures recommended for disease investigation farm visits, please contact your local CFIA office.

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