28 April 09

A/H1N1 influenza

It is now widely known that a virus circulating in North America and involving person to person

transmission appears to cause in some cases severe disease in certain people infected by this

virus. In a statement issued on April 27, 2009 OIE (World Animal Health Organization) stated

that given there is no case of infection in animals confirmed in the zones where cases of

human infection have been detected, it is not necessary nor justified to introduce specific

measures for international trade in swine or their products nor to consider that consumers of

pork products are at risk of infection. The World Health Organization (WHO) reached the

same conclusions.

OIE also indicated that it is not correct to call the current disease ‘swine influenza’. The virus

that is circulating includes genetic components of human, avian and swine origin. The OIE

proposed to refer to this new virus as ‘North American influenza’ to avoid any confusion, since

it never has been identified in hogs anywhere in the world.

This influenza virus has not been shown to be transmissible to people through prepared pork

(pig meat) or other products derived from pigs. This virus, as well as other bacteria and viruses

is killed by cooking temperatures of 91°C (160°F), corresponding to the general guidance for

the preparation of pork and other meat. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is


Although at this time no pigs have been found to be infected or sick with the new virus, the

Canadian Pork Council and Canadian Swine Health Board are urging producers to take extra

precautions to protect workers and animals and prevent the introduction of the new influenza

virus strain into their operations.

For additional information, please visit the following websites:

Public Health Agency of Canada


United States Department of Agriculture



United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention