2009 H1N1 Flu Virus Outbreak

Updated March 24, 2011

March 24, 2011
A letter published in the April 2011 edition of the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal described respiratory disease due to confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza infection in a 7-year old black-footed ferret, a 12-year old badger and a 19-year old binturong (also called a bearcat) housed in the San Diego zoological garden. According to the letter, these animals developed the infection during the initial pandemic in 2009 and they were likely infected through exposure to an infected human caretaker. The severity of disease in the badger and binturong necessitated euthanasia, but the black-footed ferret recovered with supportive care. Read the letter in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

 

What's in a name? Based on genetic analysis of the virus, "swine flu" is not an accurate name. The virus has also been called North American Influenza A (H1N1), North American Influenza, and Mexican flu. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recommends the virus be referred to as 'North American influenza', in keeping with the naming of other outbreaks of influenza in the human population. On April 29, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acting chief Richard Besser and other US officials announced the virus has been named 2009 H1N1 flu. The AVMA's materials have been updated to reflect this nomenclature. On April 30, 2009, the WHO announced it will refer to the virus as influenza A (H1N1).

The CDC has determined that the 2009 H1N1 flu virus contains genetic pieces from four different virus sources, which is unusual. The virus consists of North American swine influenza viruses, North American avian influenza viruses, human influenza viruses and swine influenza viruses found in both Asia and Europe.

The 2009 H1N1 flu virus was first reported in late March/early April 2009 in central Mexico and the border states of California and Texas. Since that time, it has become a worldwide pandemic.

The symptoms in people are very similar to human respiratory flu, and may also cause gastrointestinal side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting. In severe cases, pneumonia can occur. To date, most animals infected with H1N1 became infected after their owners had been ill with flu-like symptoms, and have shown mild respiratory illness or no illness at all. With few exceptions, most animals have fully recovered.

H1N1 News:

(March 24, 2011) A letter published in the April 2011 edition of the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal described respiratory disease due to confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza infection in a 7-year old black-footed ferret, a 12-year old badger and a 19-year old binturong (also called a bearcat) housed in the San Diego zoological garden. According to the letter, these animals developed the infection during the initial pandemic in 2009 and they were likely infected through exposure to an infected human caretaker. The severity of disease in the badger and binturong necessitated euthanasia, but the black-footed ferret recovered with supportive care. Read the letter in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

(March 18, 2011) A second confirmed 2011 case of H1N1 influenza virus infection has been reported in a domestic cat in Southern California. The 7-month-old domestic medium-hair cat had a history of chronic recurrent upper respiratory disease which had been treated and responded to antibiotic therapy in December 2010 and January 2011. The owner mentioned that she had been ill with the flu the week earlier. Testing revealed the cat tested positive for H1N1 influenza virus, as well as feline herpesvirus type 1, feline calicivirus and Myocplasma felis. The cat is responding well to treatment with doxycycline. Read the IDEXX industry alert.

(March 7, 2011) Erlanger Veterinary Hospital in Erlanger, Kentucky reported 2009 H1N1 influenza infection in a ferret shelter. On February 10, an aged ferret presented with respiratory distress. Radiography detected severe pneumonia. The ferret was euthanized the next day due to lack of response to treatment. Necropsy and laboratory results suggested a viral infection, possibly canine distemper or H1N1. Within two days, 16 (all of the remaining ferrets in the shelter) ferrets were lethargic, sneezing, coughing, and had increased respiratory rates and nasal discharge. A pharyngeal swab from an ill ferret was submitted to the Kentucky state diagnostic lab in Lexington and was positive for 2009 H1N1 influenza. The 16 ferrets were treated by veterinarians and are recovering from their illness. Prior to the onset of illness in the first ferret, a member of the shelter personnel had been ill with mild, flu-like symptoms but reported no fever.

(February 14, 2011) IDEXX Laboratories has confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza virus infection in a 6-year old cat in Wisconsin. The cat deteriorated and was euthanized. A second (10-year old) cat in the household also developed severe respiratory disease and was euthanized due to failure to respond to treatment; although samples from that cat were negative for the virus, 2009 H1N1 influenza remains the presumptive cause of illness and death in the second cat. The owner of the cats had been ill with flu-like symptoms prior to the cats' illness. Read the IDEXX industry alert.

(October 27, 2010) Research published in the November 2010 issue of the Journal of Virology reports that a variant of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus carried a mutation (called D222G) that allowed the virus to bind to a broader range of cell wall receptors found on cells in the respiratory tract, including receptors present on the ciliated cells of the airways. Humans infected with the D222G mutation were more likely to exhibit severe and fatal illness. The researchers suggest that infection and functional impairment of the ciliated cells could "sabotage the lungs' clearing mechanism and could be one factor that made the D222G mutation more virulent." Read the news release about the study, or read the study. At this time, there is no information on whether or not this mutation was found in animals infected with the 20009 H1N1 influenza virus or if the presence of the mutation would similarly affect animals infected with the virus.

(August 31, 2010) An outbreak of 2009 H1N1 influenza was reported to the OIE by Finland. Approximately 150 fattening hogs in a herd of 1500 exhibited fever, loss of appetite, sneezing and coughing. Confirmation of 2009 H1N1 influenza infection was made with PCR. All affected animals recovered without treatment. Read the report to the OIE.

(August 10, 2010) Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), announced that the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic has "largely run its course" and has declared that the world is now moving into the post-pandemic period. She also stated that "based on experience with past pandemics, we expect the H1N1 virus to take on the behavior of a seasonal influenza virus and continue to circulate for years to come." Read the statement from the WHO Director-General.

(June 23, 2010) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued a statement that the H1N1 Influenza public health emergency determination has expired. The DHHS cited the CDC, stating "there is little 2009 H1N1 virus currently circulating in the United States." The notice also stated that hospitalizations from flu-like illnesses have fallen to their "usual low levels for this time of year, and there is no longer a significant demand for the medical countermeasures that required a public health emergency determination." However, the DHHS urges continued vigilance and preventive measures. Read the DHHS statement on flu.gov.

(April 19, 2010) The Republic of Korea reported that two commercial swine herds were identified to be infected with 2009 H1N1 influenza virus during routine monitoring for the virus. Thirty-six out of 3800 total susceptible animals tested positive for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. No deaths were reported. Read the report to the OIE.

(March 25, 2010) The USDA has updated its list of presumptive and confirmatory results for 2009 H1N1 influenza infection in animals. To date, there have been no additional reports of pets infected with the virus.
See the USDA's report

(February 3, 2010) A study published in the Virology Journal on BioMed Central showed that the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus can be transmitted via intrauterine insemination, causing a decrease in egg production.
Read "Susceptibility of turkeys to pandemic-H1N1 virus by reproductive tract insemination."

(January 20, 2010) 2009 H1N1 influenza has been confirmed in a commercial swine herd in the Shonai area of Japan. Affected pigs showed signs of reduced appetite, fever and coughing.
Read Japan's report to the OIE.

(January 15, 2010) An 8-year old, female, domestic shorthaired cat was confirmed to be infected with 2009 H1N1 influenza as well as feline herpesvirus. The cat had recently been adopted within 24 hours of its arrival at an animal shelter, and began to show signs of illness (sneezing, runny nose/eyes) 5 days after it was introduced to its new home. Although there was no known exposure to an infected person or other animal, authorities cannot rule out exposure to an infected but asymptomatic (showing no symptoms of illness) person or animal. The cat is recovering from its illness. Read the IDEXX Laboratories case report.

(January 9, 2010) Denmark submitted a report to the OIE describing outbreaks of 2009 H1N1 influenza in two commercial swine herds: a fattening herd of 3,200 piglets and a second herd comprised of 750 sows, 250 slaughter pigs and 2,400 piglets. Three deaths were reported in the second herd but to date, no deaths have been observed in the first herd.

(January 8, 2010) The USDA has posted the Influenza Surveillance in Swine Procedures Manual to its website and distributed it to National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) laboratories.

(January 6, 2010) The California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) Laboratory has confirmed the presence of the H1N1 influenza virus in a turkey breeding flock in California's Central Valley. The CAHFS Laboratory confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza infection on December 28, 2009 by PCR testing of swabs taken from the infected flock. There have been no clinical signs of illness in the flock other than a decrease in egg production. Although the State of California has not officially quarantined the facility, the producer has imposed a self quarantine until further testing has been completed. Samples were forwarded to NVSL for additional confirmatory testing.

(December 28, 2009) The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health and Pico Boulevard Pet Hospital have reported a 2009 H1N1-infected cat in southern California. An 8-year old, female domestic shorthaired cat developed clinical signs of respiratory disease after its owner was ill with confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza infection. According to the owner, the cat had spent a lot of time on the owner's lap. The owner reported that the cat was sneezing and had a nasal discharge and occasional cough, but the cat was normal when examined by the veterinarian. Laboratory testing revealed 2009 H1N1 influenza infection as well as Mycoplasma felis infection. (Mycoplasma felis is a type of bacteria that can cause conjunctivitis, respiratory disease and polyarthritis [arthritis in more than one joint]). The cat is recovering from its illness.
Read the statement on the LA County Department of Public Health site.
Read the IDEXX case study.

(December 24, 2009) 2009 H1N1 influenza has been confirmed in commercial swine in North Carolina. The pigs exhibited mild clinical signs of disease after possible exposure to humans with influenza-like illness.

(December 24, 2009) The Ministry of Agriculture and Food in Russia issued a report to the OIE of a 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak in a swine herd.

(December 21, 2009) IDEXX Laboratories has confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza virus in a dog in Bedford Hills, New York. A 13-year old dog became ill after its owner was ill with confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza. The dog was lethargic, coughing, not eating, and had a fever. Radiographs (x-rays) showed evidence of pneumonia. The dog was treated with intravenous fluids, antibiotics, nebulization and other supportive care, and was discharged from the hospital after 48 hours of care. It is currently recovering. Tests submitted to IDEXX Laboratories were negative for canine influenza (H3N8) but positive for 2009 H1N1 influenza. The results were confirmed by the Iowa State Laboratory. Read the press release and the case notes.

(December 17, 2009) The USDA's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) has published a study that confirms that the meat and tissues from pigs exposed to two strains of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus did not contain the virus. Pigs infected with the virus developed mild signs of illness, but the virus was not present in the tissues or meat at 3, 5 or 7 days after exposure to the virus. This study emphasizes that pork, even from pigs which have recovered from illness due to 2009 H1N1 influenza, does not pose a foodborne illness threat.
Read the USDA press release and the manuscript on the PLoS ONE site.

(December 15, 2009) The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has made a statement on its web site that "Employers are responsible for recording cases of 2009 H1N1 illness if all of the following requirements are met: (1) the case is a confirmed case of 2009 H1N1 illness as defined by CDC; (2) the case is work-related as defined by 1904.5; and (3) the case involves one or more of the recording criteria set forth in 1904.7 (e.g., medical treatment, days away from work). Per CPL-02-02-075." This applies to all establishments covered by PART 1904, which includes the majority of veterinary practices. Prior to this notice, 2009 H1N1 was not reportable. Seasonal flu illnesses remain non-reportable.
This is the only information we have at this time. If you have questions about this regulation, please contact your OSHA Regional or Area office.

(December 14, 2009) The USDA has updated its 2009 H1N1 data to reflect additional positive tests in turkeys on the same farm in Virginia previously infected with the virus. In addition, the USDA's information includes positive 2009 H1N1 influenza test results obtained during USDA surveillance testing in Illinois.

(December 11, 2009) The USDA has issued a conditional license to Pfizer Animal Health for a 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine to vaccinate pigs against the virus. According to the USDA, this is the first 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine license issued by the USDA. Read the USDA press release

(December 10, 2009) The Chinese Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza on a swine farm in Kam Tin, Yuen Long. The sample was obtained during surveillance testing and all pigs on the farm were healthy at the time of inspection.

(December 10, 2009) Germany reported an outbreak of 2009 H1N1 influenza in a commercial swine herd with 425 pigs. Two (2) animals became ill, and both died. The outbreak began on November 21, 2009 and infection was confirmed on December 3. The source of the outbreak is listed as unknown or inconclusive.

(December 10, 2009) We have been informed that a cat in Pennsylvania died from 2009 H1N1 influenza. The cat, a 12 year old domestic shorthair, developed respiratory illness on November 3, 2009 after four family members in the household were ill with flu-like symptoms. The signs of illness observed in the cat included lethargy, loss of appetite and difficulty breathing. Radiographs (x-rays) taken by the examining veterinarian revealed pneumonia. The cat was treated with antibiotics, but the pneumonia worsened. The cat died on November 6, 2009. Nasal swabs collected on November 6 were negative for the 2009 H1N1 flu virus, but samples collected at necropsy tested positive for the virus on November 14. The NVSL conducted additional testing and confirmed the presence of 2009 H1N1 influenza on November 27, 2009.

(December 8, 2009) IDEXX Reference Laboratories has announced the availability of the IDEXX H1N1 Influenza Virus RealPCRT Test, offered as a stand-alone test or as a component of their canine and feline respiratory disease panels. This test has not been validated by the USDA but was adapted from published CDC standards regarding tests for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. Veterinarians who have received preliminary or confirmatory positive results of 2009 H1N1 infection in animals should alert their state public health veterinarian. Confirmatory testing by an NAHLN laboratory may be recommended.

(December 8, 2009) The Oregon state public health veterinarian has confirmed that another cat has died from 2009 H1N1 influenza. On November 24th 2009, an 8 year-old spayed female cat presented as an emergency to a veterinary clinic, showing signs of severe weakness and pain. According to the owner, the cat had a history of allergies and sneezing with nasal discharge and chronic sinusitis. The cat was hypothermic and dehydrated, very weak, and had nasal discharge and blue-tinged mucous membranes. Radiographs (x-rays) showed severe pneumonia and fluid accumulation in the cat's chest. A nasal discharge sample was collected and tested positive for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus by the Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Despite supportive care and treatment with oseltamivir (Tamiflu), the cat died the evening of November 24. The cat's owner had previously been ill with severe respiratory disease and was confirmed to be infected with the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus.

(December 8, 2009) France's Director General of Health announced that a cat in France has tested positive for the 2009 H1N1 virus. The cat - a 5 year old, neutered, domestic shorthair cat - developed respiratory illness after 2 children in the household had been ill. The cat recovered in 6 days.
Read the article (in French) on Le Figaro.

(December 4, 2009) Italy reported to the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) that a commercial herd of swine was confirmed to be infected with 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. The clinical signs reported included loss of appetite, fever and weakness. All of the affected pigs recovered from the illness.

(December 4, 2009) Two cats (aged 10 and 11 years) from different households in Colorado have tested positive for 2009 H1N1 influenza, according to Colorado State University's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The felines are expected to recover, but their cases serve as a reminder to pet owners to seek veterinary attention for companion animals that appear to be ill. Read the media release from Colorado State University.

(December 2, 2009) A commercial swine herd in Norfolk, England was confirmed to be infected with the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. Read the statement from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (defra).

(December 1, 2009) A cheetah in California has tested positive on preliminary tests for 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. Confirmatory tests are pending. We are in communication with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) and will post additional information and resources when they become available. Zoos remain safe to visit; however, it is in the best interest of everyone that people with flu-like illness avoid visiting public places until they have recovered from their illness.
Update December 8, 2009: Read the AZA's advisory to AZA members regarding Type A influenza H1N1 virus.
Update December 11, 2009: We have received more information about the affected cheetahs. Four cheetahs in a private zoo setting developed respiratory disease. The first cheetah exhibited lethargy, coughing, nasal discharge and decreased appetite. The second cheetah exhibited similar clinical signs approximately 6 days after the first cheetah. The third and fourth cheetahs became ill 9 and 11 days (respectively) after the first cheetah; the clinical signs exhibited by these cheetahs were more severe than those of the first two, and included harsh coughing, increased respiratory rate and a rough haircoat. All cheetahs recovered from their illness in 5-16 days. A nasal swab taken from one of the four cheetahs tested positive for the 2009 H1N1 flu virus. Although the origin of the cheetahs' infection has not been conclusively identified, investigators suspect an animal handler was the source of infection for the animals.

(November 30, 2009) Finland has reported an outbreak of 2009 H1N1 influenza in a commercial swine herd. The farmers had been ill with flu-like symptoms several days before the pigs become ill. Clinical signs observed in the pigs included fever, loss of appetite and mild respiratory signs. All pigs recovered within 1-2 days.

(November 30, 2009) The USDA has confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza virus in a turkey breeder flock in Virginia. This is the first detection of the virus H1N1 in U.S. turkeys. Canada and Chile have already had cases in domestic turkeys. A worker had recently been sent home with flu-like symptoms, and was possibly the source of infection. The USDA states that turkey is still safe to eat.

(November 28, 2009) The Chinese press has reported that dogs have tested positive for 2009 H1N1 influenza. At this time, the only information we have is that "two samples from sick dogs were tested positive for the virus." To date, there have not been any confirmed cases of dogs infected with 2009 H1N1 influenza. We will update this page as we receive more information. Read the media report on Xinhuanet.
Update January 27, 2010: we have received confirmation of this news from the College of Veterinary Medicine at China Agriculture University. Two pet dogs were confirmed by RT-PCR testing to be infected with the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. The dogs exhibited coughing and nasal discharge. Both dogs recovered after treatment with intravenous fluids, antibiotics and herbal therapy.

(November 26, 2009) Indonesia issued a report to the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) of an outbreak of 2009 H1N1 influenza in swine.

(November 18, 2009) The Oregon state public health veterinarian has reported that a pet cat has died from presumed 2009 H1N1 influenza virus infection. The cat was one of 4 cats in the household and became ill approximately one week after a child in household had a flu-like illness. It developed labored breathing and was presented to a veterinarian on November 4. The cat was not coughing or sneezing but had pneumonia. The cat's condition deteriorated over the next 3 days, and it died on November 7. Samples were obtained and tested (PCR) positive for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. Additional samples were sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) for confirmation and are still pending. At this time this is a presumed, not confirmed, case of 2009 H1N1 influenza infection. Update December 1, 2009: the cat was confirmed by the NVSL to be infected with 2009 H1N1 influenza.

The three other cats in the household also became ill with different degrees of sneezing and coughing, but recovered from their illnesses. Samples collected from these cats were negative for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus.

(November 17, 2009) A cat in Park City, Utah has become the second cat confirmed to be infected with the 2009 H1N1 virus. The cat's owner had previously been ill with the flu before the cat became ill. The cat was having trouble breathing and was taken to a veterinarian on November 3. A 'bedside' influenza test on November 6 detected the presence of type A influenza. Additional samples were sent to the Iowa State laboratory on November 9. A PCR test performed on the nasal swab was negative for 2009 H1N1 influenza, likely because the cat was no longer shedding the virus. The infection was serologically confirmed with a hemagglutination inhibition assay by the laboratory at Iowa State University on November 13.

(November 10, 2009) The State Public Health Veterinarian for Oregon has confirmed three more H1N1-infected ferrets. According to the statement:
"In late October 2009, a client presented to a veterinarian in the Roseburg area with 3 of 9 ferrets who had become ill with an influenza-like illness. The family had human patients with influenza-like illness about a week prior to the illness onset on the ferrets.
Two of the 3 ferrets presented with fevers (temp >103F), sneezing , coughing and had nasal discharge. Not all ferrets became ill at the same time, but 2-3 days after the initial 2 cases. Nasal discharge samples were collected on Oct 27th and were later reported as positive for Influenza A. Further testing at NVSL confirmed the isolates as pandemic influenza H1N1. All 9 ferrets have recovered well." View information on the Oregon VMA site.

(November 5, 2009) Taiwan confirms 2009 H1N1 influenza in swine herd.
On November 5, Taiwan submitted a report to the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) confirming 2009 H1N1 in a swine herd in T'ai-Tung County. Illness was first observed on October 19 and tests confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza on November 2. Clinical signs observed included coughing and diarrhea. All pigs have recovered from the illness.

(November 5, 2009) WHO releases statement on infection of animals with the 2009 H1N1 virus
The World Health Organization has issued a statement that extensive testing has shown that the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus has not mutated to a more virulent form. In addition, the WHO emphasized that H1N1 infections in pets were "isolated events and pose no special risks to human health."

(November 4, 2009) H1N1 confirmed in Iowa cat
A 13-year old cat in Iowa developed signs of a respiratory infection after several people in the household were ill. Preliminary testing was positive for 2009 H1N1 on October 29 and the results were confirmed on November 2. This is the first report of a cat infected with the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. The cat is recovering from its illness. To date, there is no evidence that the cat passed the virus to any people.

(November 3, 2009) H1N1 confirmed in commercial swine herd in Indiana
USDA and Indiana officials confirmed H1N1 in an Indiana swine herd.

(November 2, 2009) USDA publishing results of H1N1 testing in domestic animals
In a conference call on November 2, the USDA announced it has begun posting the results of diagnostic testing for H1N1 infection in domestic animals.

(October 29, 2009) Nebraska ferret dies; preliminary tests indicate H1N1 infection
A television station in Nebraska reported that a family's 4 ferrets became ill after the family members were ill with 2009 H1N1 virus infection. After one ferret died, preliminary tests were positive for H1N1. Confirmatory tests are still pending. Update December 8, 2009: 2009 H1N1 flu virus infection was confirmed.
Note: this news story incorrectly reports 2 known ferret deaths from H1N1. To date, the Nebraska ferret is the only confirmed H1N1-infected ferret death. The Oregon ferret infected with the H1N1 virus is recovering, according to the Oregon State Veterinarian and the Oregon State Veterinary Medical Association.

(October 29, 2009) USDA update on H1N1 positive pigs at the Minnesota State Fair
The USDA confirmed that 57 samples were obtained from pigs at the Minnesota State Fair and 45 samples were obtained from pigs at the South Dakota State Fair. Six of the Minnesota pigs tested were positive for H1N1.

(October 28, 2009) Update on H1N1 infections in swine and poultry
To date, 2009 H1N1 influenza virus infection of pigs has been reported in Canada, Argentina, Singapore, the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland), Ireland, Norway, the U.S. and Japan. It has also been reported in turkeys in Chile and Canada. Based on the evidence available at this time, the infections were spread from humans to the animals.

(October 20, 2009) H1N1 confirmed in Ontario, Canada turkey flock
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed on October 20 that the 2009 H1N1 virus was confirmed in a turkey flock in Ontario. The Ministry reminds the public that this is not a threat to food safety.

(October 19, 2009) USDA Confirms 2009 H1N1 Influenza Virus in State Fair Pig
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) confirmed the presence of 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus in a pig sample collected at the Minnesota State Fair submitted by the University of Minnesota. Additional samples are being tested. Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack reiterated that people cannot get this flu from eating pork or pork products. Additionally, the infection of a show pig at the State Fair does not indicate an infection in commercial herds. Show pigs and commercially raised pigs are separate segments of the swine industry that usually come from different animal stock and are handled by different personnel.

The AVMA urges all people exhibiting symptoms of novel H1N1 or any flu-like symptoms to avoid contact with other people and livestock in order to prevent the introduction and spread of influenza viruses. The AVMA urges swine producers to participate in the USDA's swine influenza virus surveillance program.

Read the JAVMA News Express article (October 20, 2009)

(October 9, 2009) Oregon ferret infected with H1N1 by its owner
A ferret with a respiratory infection was examined by a Portland, Oregon veterinary clinic on October 5, 2009. After learning the ferret's owner had recently been ill with the flu, the veterinarian contacted the Oregon state veterinarian's office and submitted a nasal swab from the ill ferret. Infection with the 2009/H1N1 virus was reported by the Oregon State University lab on October 8 and confirmed by a US Department of Agriculture lab on October 9.

Ferrets are susceptible to influenza A viruses. To date, this the first confirmed case of 2009/H1N1 infection in a ferret. There have not been any reports of humans infected with 2009/H1N1 from a ferret. View the report on the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association's Web site.

As of October 30, 2009, the ferret was recovering from its illness.

(September 11, 2009) H1N1/2009 flu virus confirmed in swine herd in Northern Ireland
The novel H1N1/2009 influenza virus was confirmed in a batch of 5 piglets submitted for testing from a Northern Ireland farm. This is the first report of H1N1/2009-infected pigs in Europe.

(August 20, 2009) H1N1/2009 influenza virus found in turkey farms in Chile
Chilean authorities reported the identification of the H1N1/2009 influenza virus in turkeys on two farms near Valparaiso, Chile. The virus is genetically identical to the flu virus circulating among people across the globe. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, this finding does not pose a threat to Chile's food supply, but it does confirm that poultry can become infected with the virus.

(June 11, 2009) Current level of the novel H1N1 influenza pandemic alert raised from phase 5 to 6
Based on assessment of all available information and following several expert consultations, Dr Margaret Chan, the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Director-General raised the current level of the novel H1N1 influenza pandemic alert from phase 5 to 6 on June 11, 2009. According to Dr. Chan: "The world is now at the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic. We are in the earliest days of the pandemic. The virus is spreading under a close and careful watch. No previous pandemic has been detected so early or watched so closely, in real-time, right at the very beginning. The world can now reap the benefits of investments, over the last five years, in pandemic preparedness."

(May 2009) Current vaccines for pigs may not protect them from the new H1N1 virus
Researchers from the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) tested serum samples from pigs either previously infected with U.S swine influenza viruses or vaccinated with commercial vaccines. The ARS findings suggest that pre-existing immunity induced by older swine flu viruses may not protect pigs against the new H1N1 flu virus presently circulating in people. Importantly, vaccines currently used to protect pigs on U.S swine farms operations against swine flu may not be effective against the new H1N1 flu virus.

(May 2, 2009) 2009 H1N1 flu virus detected in commercial swine herd in Alberta, Canada

(April 29, 2009) Current level of influenza pandemic alert raised from phase 4 to 5
Based on assessment of all available information and following several expert consultations, Dr Margaret Chan, WHO's Director-General raised the current level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to 5 on April 29, 2009. She stated that all countries should immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans. At this stage, effective and essential measures include heightened surveillance, early detection and treatment of cases, and infection control in all health facilities.

For more information about the 2009 H1N1 flu virus:

AVMA

Pandemic preparedness for veterinarians

AVMA FAQs: The 2009 H1N1 Flu Virus
For answers to questions the public may have about H1N1 flu and animals

AVMA FAQs for pet owners
For answers to pet owners' questions about the 2009 H1N1 flu and pets.

AVMA FAQs for veterinarians
For answers to veterinarians' questions about diagnosis, sampling, testing and more.

JAVMA News: Pigs, people, and now, pets (December 15, 2009)

(Video) Dr. Ron DeHaven, chief executive officer of the American Veterinary Medical Association, explains H1N1 and how it affects people, their pets, and the food they eat. (May 1, 2009)

Dr. DeHaven, Chief Executive Officer of the AVMA, speaks with Bob Meyer of Brownfield (includes audio) (April 29, 2009)

American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV)

H1N1 2009 pandemic influenza resources

Flu.gov

Interactive timeline on H1N1: The Year in Review

CDC

CDC H1N1 Flu
For general information on H1N1 flu, general health information guidelines, updates on the status of the H1N1 flu outbreak, and travel advisories

2009 H1N1 Flu Frequently Asked Questions (including questions about H1N1 and domestic animals)

Interim Guidance for Workers who are Employed at Commercial Swine Farms: Preventing the Spread of Influenza A Viruses, Including the 2009 H1N1 Virus

USDA

Influenza Surveillance in Swine Procedures Manual

National Surveillance Plan for Swine Influenza Virus: Including Novel H1N1 2009 Virus (PDF, 234Kb)

Guidelines for Novel H1N1 Virus in Swine in the United States (report) (PDF, 165Kb)
Guidelines for Novel H1N1 Virus in Swine in the United States (attachments) (PDF, 1.49MB)

USDA Agricultural Research Service H1N1 influenza research

Frequently Asked Questions About H1N1

Updated Statement By Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Regarding USDA Efforts Regarding H1N1 Flu Outbreak(USDA press release, April 28, 2009)
Facts about swine and pork products and this new human influenza (H1N1) virus

OSHA

OSHA FactSheet: Influenza in Workers and Pigs: Guidance for Commercial Swine Farmers and Pork Producers(PDF)

OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health)

A/H1N1 influenza like human illness in Mexico and the USA: OIE statement
More facts about swine and pork products and this new human influenza (H1N1) virus

OIE/FAO Network of Expertise on Animal Influenza (Offlu)

OIE/FAO Offlu list of international veterinary diagnostic laboratories for submission of suspected Pandemic H1N1 2009 swine samples or isolates

WHO

Influenza A(H1N1)
For updates on the global pandemic of H1N1 influenza

National Pork Board

Recommendations for Risk Management at Swine Exhibitions and for Show Pigs

University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance Online Training Portal


The AVMA would like to thank the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine, the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and the state veterinarians and state public health veterinarians of Indiana, Iowa and Oregon for their cooperation, assistance and guidance on this issue.