Special Alert Post: Pet Lovers and Swine Flu

Swine flu has people running scared all over the globe.

Here in America, where hog farms may bolster the economy of an entire town, or a household may be home to a pot-bellied pig, concern exists for more than people.

My Pet’s Doctor wants to talk about swine flu in pigs and hogs today.

Dr. Kathryn Edwards from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, sounds off on the porcine connection. She says that Edgar Hernandez, probably the first victim from Ground Zero, La Gloria, Mexico, most likely got the virus from a person who got it from a pig.

At the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Kyoungjin Yoon, who is a veterinarian with a Master’s Degree, PhD. and is Board Certified in Microbiology, says he is not currently concerned about an epidemic in swine.

“At this point I’m not sure hog farmers will have higher risk. If you go back to what the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has found, these are mostly young people who didn’t have any interaction with pigs at all.”

“If it was related to pigs we have in the US, I would expect that we would have seen more than what has been popping up. From my perspective I would not be too concerned about it.”

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians’ statement includes this, “This particular combination has not previously been recognized in swine or human isolates in the U.S. and there is no indication that the virus exists in swine.”

Dr. Yoon says “it’s good news for us” that the normal flu season is winding down and it’s unlikely that the virus can survive increasing ambient temperatures.”

Yet, he goes on to say that standard precautions are still in order. “We always try to advocate people working on hog farms to vaccinate against influenza, not just protect themselves but to protect their animals from getting infected.”

Likewise, the AASV reminds us not to forget the basics. Cleanliness, handwashing and sanitizing where potbellied pigs, farm herds and people reside are crucial and easy preventive measures.

MyPetsDoctor.com will keep you abreast of changes that pet lovers worldwide need to know.

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