DES MOINES, Iowa – The Pork Checkoff is reminding producers, farm personnel, veterinarians and others in regular contact with pigs to get vaccinated for the flu.
The flu season can start in October and extend until May.
Dr. Liz Wagstrom, assistant vice president of science and technology for the Pork Checkoff, said, "Producers and swine farm workers can reduce the risk of getting sick and bringing the flu to the farm or workplace by getting vaccinated.”
She said that the flu shot contains vaccinations for two type A viruses and one type B virus. Type A virus can be passed between humans and pigs. The vaccine is available as an injection or as a nasal spray.
Wagstrom also recommended sick-leave policies to encourage workers to stay home when they have acute respiratory infections.
"To prevent pigs and humans from other species’ influenza viruses, producers also should look at bird-proofing their buildings, protecting feed from birds and enforcing biosecurity practices such as the use of farm-specific clothing and footwear," she said. Wagstrom also suggested chlorinating the water used on the farm, especially if it is surface or pond water since migrating fowl and other wildlife may spread different viruses.
Source: Pork Checkoff