With the flu season just around the corner, producers are taking extra steps to keep pigs and people healthy and doing so comes down to prevention. Dr. Heather Fowler, director of producer and public health for the National Pork Board, said producers can implant guidelines shared through the National Pork Board.
“Pork Quality Assurance Plus program, as well as the Youth Quality Assurance program, which covers all livestock species. So, the pillars of public health, how to maintain herd health, all of those things are represented there, and again, drive you to those additional resources of your of your veterinarian and even your physician.”
The influenza virus typically is spread through coughing, sneezing and contact.
“If you are feeling sick, consider staying home. So, make sure that you’re not exposing other people, but also not the pigs. And similarly, we need to keep an eye on our pigs health, work with our veterinarian to understand what the signs of influenza are and notify someone if we start to see those signs.”
Pig farmers should recognize the signs of influenza.
“Fever, coughing, animals will oftentimes be off feed. A lot of our caregivers, they know their animals, they know that they’re off. So, even if you have just some, you know, it doesn’t exactly feel right, maybe it’s not necessarily following the textbook clinical signs that one should be looking for, definitely reach out to a veterinarian or staff on site.”
There is no crystal ball to tell us how bad this year’s flu season will be, but in mid-September, the CDC said they expect the flu and respiratory season to be like last year. More information on protecting pigs and people can be found at porkcheckoff.org.