The American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council have been working diligently with state animal health officials (SAHO) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a response plan should the novel H1N1 flu strain be suspected or confirmed in a U.S. swine herd.

It was ultimately decided that the current working relationship between producers, veterinarians and state and federal animal health officials would be adequate to address any suspected introduction of the H1N1 Flu Outbreak Virus. The SAHO will be the lead organization determining local activities as outlined in the response plan, according to a report from the AASV.

Following diagnostic testing, the SAHO would be notified of a suspected case of H1N1 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 flu-like clinical signs at a fair;
• Livestock shows or other points of concentration; or
• If linked to human cases associated with swine contact. Once a suspect case has been identified, the SAHO would work confidentially with the veterinarian and producer to investigate and monitor the pigs. Additional biosecurity measures to minimize viral spread would be implemented as needed. Samples would be sent to the diagnostic lab for confirmation. If negative, no further action would be taken.

If confirmed, the diagnostic lab would notify the SAHO and the attending veterinarian, who would then notify the producer. Pig movements would be restricted until clinical signs have abated or by approval of the SAHO. Sick animals would not be shipped to processing facilities. Recovered pigs could move without restriction.

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