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Manitoba Pork Issues Statement On Human Case Of H1N1v & H1N2v

Manitoba Pork issued the following statement Friday:

Today, the Chief Public Health Officer and the Chief Veterinary Officer for the Province of Manitoba have announced a positive human case of both H1N1v and H1N2v. These cases are separate of one another and are not related. There is no evidence at this time of sustained person-to-person transfer and no increased risk to the public.

H1N1 is a subtype of influenza A, with many strains that regularly circulate in both humans and pigs. The strain identified is rarely seen in people. The individual experienced only mild clinical signs and has since recovered with no known transmission to other individuals. H1N1 cases are not uncommon. For example, H1N1 was the dominant subtype of influenza cases in 2019-2020 according to Health Canada.

The individual confirmed with H1N2v experienced only mild clinical signs and has since recovered with no known transmission to other individuals. The spread of infection of H1N2 between humans is very rare. This represents only the second case of H1N2v identified in Canada with the first having been identified last year in Alberta. While H1N2 is rare in humans, it is not an uncommon virus among swine herds in North America, with about 30 cases reported in pigs each quarter across Western Canada. Since 2005, fewer than 30 cases have been reported in humans around the world.

H1N1 and H1N2 are not food-borne illnesses. Neither virus can be transmitted by eating pork. Consumers can be assured that there is no risk associated with keeping pork on their menus.

Hog farmers have been proactively engaged in influenza surveillance for many years. This allows hog farmers and veterinarians to better understand the strains of influenza that are circulating and to ensure continuous improvement in prevention and response. This surveillance work tracks trends of influenza across western Canada and across production systems to provide insight into determining vaccine regimens for herds.

Hog farmers are reminded to continue to follow sound biosecurity protocols, including frequent handwashing, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, and avoiding contact with livestock if you have flu-like symptoms. Manitoba Pork recommends that hog farmers review and strengthen existing biosecurity protocols where appropriate.

Manitoba Pork and hog farmers in Manitoba are engaged with Manitoba Health and Seniors Care, as well as Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, and will continue to assist in any way possible.

The identification of these two cases is recent. Further information will become available in the days ahead. Manitoba Pork is committed to providing updates to the public and to hog farmers as new information becomes available.

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