2009 H1N1 flu
Information for pork producers
The "swine flu" epidemic started in Mexico and has spread through the world, including the United States. The epidemic raises many questions, particularly for pork producers. This page provides basic background information on this new H1N1 influenza virus outbreak and links to futher information.
View the Sept 9 PorkCast Webinar, H1N1 Preparedness for Pork Producers
View the April 28 PorkCast webinar, Pork Producer Update: H1N1 Influenza
H1N1 Ramifications for the Pork Industry by Mark Whitney, Extension educator
On this page:
The term swine flu for this newly identified influenza virus is misleading.
- U.S. officials are now using the term 2009 H1N1 flu when referring to this new hybrid influenza virus.
- The 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak strain contains influenza segments from swine, avian and human hosts.
- No substantiated link of human cases due to swine exposure has been identified.
It is safe to eat pork.
- According to USDA scientists swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food so you cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security have stated that people cannot get influenza from eating pork or pork products.
Pork producers are encouraged to step up biosecurity programs to minimize the risk of introducing diseases on their farm, including influenza.
- There was a recent report of a Canadian swine herd potentially infected with the H1N1 virus from a person who had recently traveled to Mexico.
- This is not surprising given the ability of some influenza viruses to infect multiple species, particularly from human to swine.
- Precautionary steps should be taken to reduce the risk of infection in pork production operations.
- Limit entry of visitors onto production sites and into facilities.
- Consider preventing entry of workers who have travelled internationally, particularly to Mexico, into your operation for 14 days.
Establish and enforce strict sick leave policies for workers presenting flu-like symptoms.
- Prevent workers with flu-like symptoms from entering swine facilities for at least seven days after flu symptoms subside.
- Encourage individuals to be seen by a medical provider.
Enforce basic hygiene practices.
- Require workers to wash their hands frequently, in barns and in offices.
- Implement and enforce use of personal protective equipment, including face masks/respirators, eye protection and gloves.
News and updates on 2009 H1N1 flu