OIE comments on the findings of “A/H1N1” in pigs in Canada

Paris, 4 May 2009 – The Veterinary Services of Canada announced on Saturday, 2 May 2009 that a pig farm in Alberta, Canada had been infected with the “A/H1N1 virus”. The infection is probably linked with the entry of a carpenter having worked at the farm. The carpenter had flu symptoms after a short stay in Mexico. He has now recovered. More investigations are still ongoing.

Some pigs at the farm went off feed and showed respiratory symptoms. The Canadian Veterinary Services decided immediately to put the farm under quarantine. The sampled pigs tested positive to the“A/H1N1 virus”. It was a mild disease and the pigs have now recovered.

According to OIE regulations this event has the status of emerging disease and Canada is preparing an official notification to the OIE.

Because of the exceptional nature of this event and in order to make appropriate additional scientific investigations, the Canadian authorities may decide to maintain the farm under quarantine.

Furthermore, the OIE is waiting for the results of scientific experiments aimed to determine the susceptibility of different animal species vs the “A/H1N1” isolated in infected humans. This information is awaited within the following days and will be published as soon as available.

All previous recommendations made by the OIE before this event in pigs in Canada remain valid, including the implementation by Veterinary Services of biosecurity measures to protect animals from human infections as well as strengthening relevant animal surveillance.