New H1N2 Influenza Strain Shows Signs of Spreading

CANADA - A veterinary Pathologist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine reports an emerging H1N2 strain of influenza, first detected in 2013 in Manitoba, has begun to spread throughout western Canada, according to Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 8 March 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

The primary influenza season for pigs, as in people, typically runs from late October, early November until about early April with peaks in activity during the November-December and March-April time frames but we do continue to see cases throughout the summer.

Dr Susan Detmer, a veterinary pathologist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, reports over the past three years we've seen an even split among three different types, an H1N1 virus, H3N2 viruses and a pandemic virus but over the last year cases of the pandemic and the H3N2 strains have declined and a new H1N2 virus has been dominant in western Canada.

Dr Susan Detmer-Western College of Veterinary Medicine

The biggest issue that we're faced with in western Canada is the viruses that we have, there isn't a very good match to commercial vaccines for pigs so instead what we end up doing is having to isolate the virus which can be done and create an autogenous vaccine which is done through a vaccine manufacturer, there's only one in Canada and that's located in Ontario.

That's probably the biggest challenge that we face, is finding a vaccine that works on the farm and then the changes in the viruses.

Dr Detmer notes this new H1N2 strain was first identified in Manitoba in 2013, it's increased in detection in Manitoba over the past three to four years, and over the last year and a half, Canada had several introductions into Alberta and Saskatchewan so it's started to move out of that dense area of production in southeastern Manitoba.

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