Farmscape for October 30, 2018
The Western College of Veterinary Medicine says seasonal flu is already reported to be circulating throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
The public is encouraged to protect themselves and their families from influenza, a viral infection that infects mostly the upper respiratory tract of most mammals.
Dr. Susan Detmer, an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathology with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says peak flu season most commonly occurs between December and February but cases of seasonal flu are already being reported in both pigs and people.
Clip-Dr. Susan Detmer-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
For humans so far this fall, they've already started picking up flu.
Especially with the CDC, you'll see on the reports, they're getting more and more flu.
We base our predictions for the winter mostly on what happens mostly in Australia.
In the Southern Hemisphere their season starts as ours is ending in the spring.
When they chose the vaccine for this year, they chose it back in February and it was based on what was in Australia at the time.
When they checked in August, the viruses that they had selected were being seen but there was a different stain that was more prevalent so they're not sure if, when it returns to the Northern Hemisphere, if we're going to see the one that was more prevalent in Australia back in August or if it's going to go back to the one that they saw earlier in the season.
They're giving it a 50-50 shot that we're going to have a different virus because that's usually what happens.
A different virus dominates as soon as it moves back to the Northern Hemisphere.
Dr. Detmer says generally only about 20 percent of people get vaccinated.
However, she says, the more people that are vaccinated, the less those virus strains or cross reactive strains to the viruses in the vaccine are circulating, so we don't see as much of it and less people get infected.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork