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Flu Vaccination Clinics Offer Example of One Health Concept

12 November 2012, at 12:18pm

CANADA - The executive director of the Canadian Swine Health Board suggests actions being taken to encourage swine barn workers to protect themselves and their pigs by being vaccinated against seasonal influenza is a classic example of the "One Health" concept, writes Bruce Cochrane.

In response to the economic devastation caused to Canada's pork industry as a result of public fear of the H1N1 flu virus in 2009, the Canadian Swine Health Board has been encouraging pork producers and those who work with pigs to get vaccinated against the seasonal flu.

Next week those attending Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2012 will have the opportunity to take part in a flu vaccination clinic.

Canadian Swine Health Board executive director Bob Harding says the response to vaccination clinics offered so far has been excellent.

Bob Harding-Canadian Swine Health Board:

The Canadian Swine Health Board has by default assumed the role of swine industry leadership at the national level in one health.

When we talk about one health that really is the interaction of animal health and human health and environmental health. Obviously this is the animal and human interface that we're talking about here and we understand more and more about the one health initiatives.

It's quite interesting. When we talk about this as a simple step that people can take to further the one health understanding.

When we talk about this to folks that are in public health they see this as a significant move because many of the people that are involved in it focus on human health and this is a real opportunity where we can interact and learn from each other and prepare ourselves in case there is some zoonotic event or there's something that may very well happen that we all know what's happening and that we know each other and can work well together.

Mr Harding suggests offering flu vaccination clinics is an excellent one health initiative, He says it's a very simple thing that can be done to build one health and to demonstrate how important the health of our animals and our people are to a healthy industry.

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