A ProMED-mail post (August 2, 2009)
Hong Kong’s health authorities announced Wednesday [27 Jul 2009] that a new variant of the H3N2 seasonal influenza virus has been found in the city. The Brisbane strain has been the prevalent circulator of H3N2 in the past year, and the new variant is its direct descendent, said Thomas Tsang, controller of Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection (CHP). “However, it has some genetic changes distinguishing it from the old Brisbane strain,” he said. He said it is normal for viruses to go through changes, adding that overseas health authorities, including those in Canada, Britain and Australia, had also found the new variant. Read the rest of this entry »
A ProMED-mail post (July 23, 2009)
Two Canadian Food Inspection Agency [CFIA] inspectors appear to have contracted swine flu while investigating an outbreak of the new virus in pigs on an Alberta farm in late April , the agency confirmed on 21 July 2009.
The cases appear to be the first report of people catching the new H1N1 virus from pigs. Read the rest of this entry »
A ProMED-mail post (June 19, 2009)
Whether speaking of a 58-year-old man or a 38-year-old woman, or a little boy of 9, officials announcing swine flu deaths are almost always quick to note “underlying health conditions” may have contributed to the fatal outcome. Asthma, heart disease, diabetes, maybe even obesity are among the conditions used to help explain why swine flu infection is hospitalizing and killing younger people, people who would be expected to make a full recovery from seasonal flu. Read the rest of this entry »
A ProMED-mail post (May 28, 2009)
The following is  a statement of the research program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and  the outcome of a study of the cross-reactivity of serum samples from US pigs against the new swine origin 2009 H1N1 influenza virus (S/O H1N1). The results of this analysis indicate that pre-existing immunity induced by swine influenza viruses circulating in the US may not protect pigs against the new S/O H1N1 influenza virus presently circulating in people.
Read the rest of this entry »
Martin Enserink and Jocelyn Kaiser
Published in SCIENCE: VOLUME 324:703-705,2009
If and when a pandemic of H1N1 swine flu hits, vaccines might be the world’s best hope for softening the blow. But major uncertainties cloud the prospects for vaccines against the new strain. No pandemic vaccine yet exists, and it is unclear how much vaccine would have to be available, and by what time, to have any impact. Should manufacturers halt the production of seasonal influenza vaccine to focus on a pandemic version, and if so, when? And is there any way to ensure that people around the world have an equal chance to get the new vaccine? Read the rest of this entry »
From the World Health Organization
Assessing the Severity of an Influenza Pandemic
The major determinant of the severity of an influenza pandemic, as measured by the number of cases of severe illness and deaths it causes, is the inherent virulence of the virus. However, many other factors influence the overall severity of a pandemic’s impact. Read the rest of this entry »
Terry D. Etherton
A recent Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Media Release about the detection of A/H1N1 virus in pigs in Canada is presented below. The release also was distributed by ProMED.
As a point of interest, ProMED is one of the largest publicly available emerging disease and outbreak reporting systems in the World. Currently, ProMED posts are read by over 50,000 subscribers in over 187 countries. Read the rest of this entry »
Bob Mikesell, Ph.D.
Department of Dairy and Animal Science
In light of the H1N1 (formerly known as swine flu) virus outbreak, consumers should have an understanding of the influenza virus from a pork producer perspective, and the steps that US swine producers routinely utilize to keep pigs healthy. Read the rest of this entry »
Jacob Werner, VMD
Assistant Professor of Veterinary Medicine and Dairy and Animal Science
Attending Veterinarian for Agricultural Animals and Wildlife
Animal Resource Program
Penn State University
With the media reporting increased numbers of swine flu cases daily, it is time for the swine industry to maintain and, perhaps, expand the strict biosecurity procedures already in place. Read the rest of this entry »