Results of regular influenza virus surveillance in pigs

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

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Under the regular influenza virus surveillance programme on pigs, the CFS has been helping HKU researchers to collect samples from pigs at the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse twice a month to monitor influenza virus activity in pigs. Starting from the May to July 2012 surveillance period, results of the surveillance program will be uploaded for public information. Results will be announced immediately if findings have significant impact on food safety and public health.

2015 / 2016 Surveillance Periods
Surveillance Period No. of Specimens No. of Viral Isolates
Human Swine Influenza (H1N1) Swine Influenza with Human “Swine” H1N1pdm Influenza Genes Other Swine Influenza Human Origin Swine Influenza (H3N2) Total
February 2015 –April 2015 1429 0 16 0 0 16
May 2015 – July 2015 1394 0 23 0 0 23
August 2015 – October 2015 1256 0 9 0 0 9
November 2015 – January 2016 1534 0 35 0 0 35

 

Remarks:

  1. According to the World Health Organization, human swine influenza will not be contracted by consuming pork and pork products that are handled properly and thoroughly cooked. Members of the public are advised that it is safe to eat pork and pork products that are cooked to an internal temperature of 70 degrees Celsius or above.
  2. There have been similar reports from many parts of the world showing that swine influenza viruses carried the genes of the human swine influenza virus. At present, there has been no evidence indicating that such viruses may pose any major human health risk or cause problems in food safety.
  3. Other swine influenza viruses have been endemic in swine population for a considerable length of time and are also unlikely to cause any impacts in public health and food safety.
  4. The human origin swine influenza virus is presumably crossed from humans and circulated in swine. It causes no major impact in public health and food safety as most humans already have high levels of immunity to this virus.
  5. Nevertheless, people handling live pigs are advised to observe good personal hygiene and put on appropriate personal protective gear.

For the previous results of regular influenza virus surveillance in pigs, please refer to website of Centre for Food Safety:

2012 / 2013 Surveillance Periods
2013 / 2014 Surveillance Periods
2014 / 2015 Surveillance Periods

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