Ongoing surveillance for respiratory diseases in Manitoba swine herds has detected the (Type A) H1N1 influenza virus in several herds, including sow barns, nursery barns, and feeder barns in various locations in the province.

The novel virus was first suspected in a sow barn when sows that had been vaccinated against common strains of influenza, began to exhibit influenza-like symptoms. Samples from the herds in question were tested as positive for the novel H1N1 virus in Manitoba Agriculture's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, and confirmed by the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg.

Further surveillance confirmed novel H1N1 diagnoses in several additional barns housing weanling and feeder pigs. Movement of pigs from these locations was immediately limited to prevent transmission of the virus to other swine herds. Biosecurity protocols, including the reminder to staff to wear their personal protective equipment properly, were enhanced to further protect both pigs and the workers in the barns.

In the herds where the virus has been detected the disease was very mild, with pigs showing only slight signs of respiratory illness -- mild cough and nasal discharge, depressed feed intake and rectal temperatures up to 40.5° C [104.9°F]. No deaths have been reported in these herds.

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Source: American Association of Swine Veterinarians