The American Association of Swine Veterinarians, National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council have been working diligently with state animal health officials and the USDA to develop a response plan to direct actions in the event that the (Type A) H1N1 Influenza strain should be suspected or confirmed in a U.S. pig herd.

It was determined that the current working relationship between producers, veterinarians and state and federal animal health officials would be sufficiently robust to adequately address any suspected or confirmed (Type A) H1N1 virus introduction into the U.S. swine herd. The state animal health officials will be the lead organization determining local activities as outlined in the response plan.

State animal health officials would be notified of a suspected case of (Type A) H1N1 following diagnostic testing resulting from one of the following scenarios: routine sample submissions from producers participating in the H1N1 Surveillance Program through a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, samples submitted from pigs exhibiting influenza-like clinical signs at a fair, exhibition or other point of concentration, or if linked to human cases associated with swine contact.

Following notification of a suspect case, state animal health officials would work confidentially with the veterinarian and producer to investigate and monitor the pigs. If appropriate, the state officials in collaboration with the attending veterinarian and producer would implement additional biosecurity measures designed to minimize the risk of viral spread. Samples will be submitted to the veterinary diagnostic laboratory for confirmation. If negative, the investigation is concluded and activities return to normal.

If confirmed, the diagnostic lab would notify state animal health officials and the attending veterinarian who would in turn notify the producer. Pig movements from the affected herd would be restricted until the clinical signs have resolved or as approved by the state officials. The resolution of clinical signs (barking cough, fever, anorexia, lethargy and ocular and/or nasal discharge) would be determined by the attending veterinarian. In accordance with standard operating procedures, sick animals would not be shipped to processing facilities. Recovered pigs can move normally without restriction.

For more, read "H1N1 Under Surveillance."

Also, see the H1N1 Resource Center on Porkmag.com.

Source: AASV