With the emergence of the pandemic  (Type A) H1N1 2009 influenza, human health is of primary importance, says the American Association of Swine Veterinarians in a position paper released this week. All reasonable measures should be taken to avoid any unnecessary risk to human health.

“An essential component of protecting human health is providing a safe, high quality, and affordable food supply,” says the AASV.

In addition, the AASV strongly advises that all personnel working in the pork production industry be vaccinated against seasonal influenza annually and against any novel human influenza A viruses as they emerge. Vaccination enhances protection for personnel while minimizing the likelihood of viral transmission from personnel to pigs.

The AASV recommends that pork producers financially support employee vaccination against seasonal influenza viruses. Further, the group recommends that all personnel associated with pork production and harvest in North America be given high priority for vaccination against any novel influenza virus that emerges in the human population.

The AASV recommends that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state departments of health, and local health departments work in close cooperation with USDA-APHIS, state animal health officials, and local veterinarians by establishing working groups and communication channels to promote vaccination plans across North America.

Read the complete AASV Position Paper.

Source: American Association of Swine Veterinarians