Monday, November 9, 2009

2009 H1N1 in pet and farmed animals - No cause for alarm

In light of recent evidence that suggests 2009 H1N1 is transmissible from infected humans to pets (e.g., cats, ferret) and farmed animals (e.g., pigs, turkeys), health experts have released some updated guidance:

CDC has updated its H1N1 Flu & You Q&A webpage to include questions and answers about 2009 H1N1 transmission from ill humans to their pets, including information on preventive measures. Information can be viewed at the bottom of the H1N1 Flu & You webpage (scroll down or click on the hyperlink on the right-hand side of the screen):

Since the new H1N1 pandemic virus emerged, a small number of infections in swine herds have been reported. Limited evidence suggests that these infections occurred following direct transmission of the virus from infected humans to swine. As we mentioned in last week's Pandemic Influenza Update #11, WHO has characterized these infections as isolated events, which have not yet had any significant impacts on the dynamics of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic among humans. As human infections become more widespread, we can expect more frequent reports of transmission of the virus from humans to animals with greater frequency.

When influenza infections are detected in farmed animals, WHO recommends monitoring of farm workers for signs of respiratory illness, and testing for H1N1 infection should such signs appear. FAO and OIE recommend that animals that are showing signs of illness be examined and properly managed, and allowed to fully recover before being transported or marketed.

"This situation reinforces the need for close monitoring and close collaboration between public health and veterinary authorities."

For more information on WHO guidance on this topic, and results from testing by laboratories in the WHO influenza surveillance network, visit:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The real danger of H1N1 is that someone with H1N1 will come in contact with H5N1 (or the reverse) leading to rapid human to human transfer of a very much more lethal flu than H1N1 has been to date. H5N1 is globally seeded, moves with migratory waterfowl and is still killing people.