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Hong Kong, FEHD releases results of regular influenza virus surveillance in pigs from August to October (November 15 2011): Swine H3N2 with internal A(H1N1)pdm09 genes

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  • Hong Kong, FEHD releases results of regular influenza virus surveillance in pigs from August to October (November 15 2011): Swine H3N2 with internal A(H1N1)pdm09 genes

    [Source: Government of Hong Kong PRC SAR, full text: (LINK).]
    FEHD releases results of regular influenza virus surveillance in pigs from August to October


    ‎16 November ‎2011


    The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (November 16) announced results of the regular influenza virus surveillance programme on pigs conducted by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) for August to mid October at the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse.

    Among some 1 000 samples tested, no human swine influenza virus (pandemic H1N1) was detected.

    However, 15 samples were found to contain a virus that was essentially a swine influenza H3N2 virus but had picked up some genes of human swine influenza virus.

    The same virus was also found in the last round of surveillance programme for May to July.

    The HKU expert in charge of the surveillance programme,professor JSM Peiris, reiterated that this swine influenza H3N2 virus, which carried the genes of the human swine influenza virus, is unlikely cause any major human health risk or problems in food safety.

    Under the regular influenza virus surveillance programme for pigs, the CFS has been helping HKU researchers to collect blood and tracheal and nasal swabs from pigs at the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse twice a month to monitor influenza virus activity in pigs.

    "CFS will continue to monitor reports of the HKU surveillance programme and make announcements on a regular basis.

    Results will be announced immediately if there are significant public health impacts," the spokesman said.

    According to the World Health Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 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.

    The CFS spokesman said that all imported live pigs from the Mainland come from registered farms and are accompanied with animal health certificates issued by the Mainland authorities.

    "The FEHD inspects the certificates and health of the imported pigs at the boundary control points. Both imported and local pigs have to go through ante-mortem and post-mortem inspections in slaughterhouses. Only pigs that pass the inspections can be supplied to the market and sold for consumption," he added.

    Apart from the enhanced inspection of imported live pigs, the FEHD has reminded slaughterhouse staff and people who might be in contact with live pigs to pay attention to personal hygiene and to wear masks and appropriate protective gear at work.


    The spokesman said the CFS has been keeping close liaison with the Mainland authorities over any abnormal situation concerning Mainland farms supplying live pigs to Hong Kong, and farm inspection would be stepped up when necessary.
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  • #2
    FEHD releases results of regular influenza virus surveillance in pigs from August to October

    Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (November 16) announced results of the regular influenza virus surveillance programme on pigs conducted by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) for August to mid October at the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse.

    Among some 1 000 samples tested, no human swine influenza virus (pandemic H1N1) was detected. However, 15 samples were found to contain a virus that was essentially a swine influenza H3N2 virus but had picked up some genes of human swine influenza virus. The same virus was also found in the last round of surveillance programme for May to July.

    The HKU expert in charge of the surveillance programme,professor JSM Peiris, reiterated that this swine influenza H3N2 virus, which carried the genes of the human swine influenza virus, is unlikely cause any major human health risk or problems in food safety.

    Under the regular influenza virus surveillance programme for pigs, the CFS has been helping HKU researchers to collect blood and tracheal and nasal swabs from pigs at the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse twice a month to monitor influenza virus activity in pigs.

    "CFS will continue to monitor reports of the HKU surveillance programme and make announcements on a regular basis.

    Results will be announced immediately if there are significant public health impacts," the spokesman said.

    According to the World Health Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 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.

    The CFS spokesman said that all imported live pigs from the Mainland come from registered farms and are accompanied with animal health certificates issued by the Mainland authorities.

    "The FEHD inspects the certificates and health of the imported pigs at the boundary control points.

    Both imported and local pigs have to go through ante-mortem and post-mortem inspections in slaughterhouses. Only pigs that pass the inspections can be supplied to the market and sold for consumption," he added.

    Apart from the enhanced inspection of imported live pigs, the FEHD has reminded slaughterhouse staff and people who might be in contact with live pigs to pay attention to personal hygiene and to wear masks and appropriate protective gear at work.

    The spokesman said the CFS has been keeping close liaison with the Mainland authorities over any abnormal situation concerning Mainland farms supplying live pigs to Hong Kong, and farm inspection would be stepped up when necessary.


    Source: HKSAR Government

    http://7thspace.com/headlines/399931...Interactive%29

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Hong Kong, FEHD releases results of regular influenza virus surveillance in pigs from August to October (November 15 2011): Swine H3N2 with internal A(H1N1)pdm09 genes

      [Source: ProMedMail.org, full page: (LINK). Edited.]
      Published Date: 2011-11-19 17:58:35
      Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Influenza (68): Hong Kong swine-origin H3N2 reassortant
      Archive Number: 20111119.3411



      INFLUENZA (68): HONG KONG SWINE-ORIGIN H3N2 REASSORTANT
      ************************************************** *****
      A ProMED-mail post
      http://www.promedmail.org
      ProMED-mail is a program of the
      International Society for Infectious Diseases
      http://www.isid.org

      Date: Thu 17 Nov 2011
      Source: The Hong Kong Standard [edited]

      http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?we_cat=4&art_id=117153&sid=3448695 6&con_type=1&d_str=20111117&fc=4

      Threat played down after new swine flu virus find
      -------------------------------------------------

      A new swine flu virus with human genes has again been found inmainland pigs at a Hong Kong slaughterhouse. But the swine flu H3N2virus is unlikely to cause a "major" human health risk, the Centrefor Food Safety said. 15 pigs were found infected with "essentially aswine influenza H3N2 virus that has picked up some genes of humanswine influenza virus," the center said. They were detected out of1000 samples taken from August to mid-October [2011].

      The same flu subtype [had been] isolated also in the last round of thesurveillance programs, from May to July 2011, in 16 pigs. In both instances, the department said it had notified mainland authorities.

      There have been no recent reports of such H3N2-infected swine in Guangdong province, however.

      Flu expert Malik Peiris said the H3N2 subtype seen in the pigs is not the same swine-originated new H3N2 that has infected 7 people in theUnited States since July [2011]. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier that while [these] infections have been mainly mild, they are being closely monitored [see: ProMED-mail archived reports below]. Dr Nancy Cox, head of the Atlanta- based agency's influenza division, said a seed strain for a vaccine that would protect against the virus has already been developed and given to manufacturers. [This statement likely refers to the USA-swine-origin H3N2 reassortant (see ProMED-mail Influenza (66): USA swine-origin H3N2 reassortant, update 20111105.3298) and not the Hong Kong swine-origin H3N2 reassortant. - Mod.CP]. The World Health Organization also said that for pandemic preparedness purposes, it has developed and made available 2 candidate vaccine viruses.

      All pigs coming from the mainland are slaughtered centrally in the Sheung Shui slaughterhouse before they are taken to Hong Kong markets.

      A spokesman for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said the infected pigs were destroyed. However, abattoir workers have not been checked for the presence of the virus, the spokesman revealed. "There is no routine check of influenza antibody level in slaughterhouse staff," he said, in response to questions from The Standard. But staffare advised to wear face masks and gloves while on duty, and to observe personal hygiene.

      Peiris said human flu viruses cross to pigs occasionally, and viceversa. "This one [H3N2] is a pandemic reassorted virus," he said,adding it was derived from the 2004-5 human flu, so most of the population would have [acquired] immunity from [exposure to] it,except very young children. "There is really no risk of acquiring viruses from eating pork meat."

      [Byline: Mary Ann Benitez]

      --
      Communicated by:ProMED-mail from HealthMap alerts

      [A previously characterised swine-origin H3N2 reassortant, responsible for a few isolated non-contagious benign infections in children, had acquired one of the genes -- the M gene -- of the H1N1 flu strain that caused the 2009 pandemic. The CDC reported the swine H3N2 virus probably picked up the M gene from the pandemic H1N1 virus when a pig was co-infected with swine H3N2 and the H1N1 strain. It's not clear whether the acquisition of this human-origin gene facilitated transmission of the reassortant to humans, but It did not enhance its virulence or facilitate its transmissibility among humans. Likewise there is no evidence (yet) that the Hong Kong swine H3N2 reassortant virus described above has any increased virulence for humans or enhanced ability to infect human hosts. It is likely that sub-unit reassortment of influenza A virus genome sub-unit is a frequent occurrence, and inapparent without some specific selection pressure to reveal its occurrence. - Mod.CP]

      [The most common subtypes currently found in pigs are H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2; however, the situation is complex, as 2 or more viruses of each subtype are circulating in swine populations. "Swine influenza" is not included in OIE's list of notifiable animal diseases. A recent exception was registered when an influenza H3N2 virus was found, in Denmark in 2009, as the causative agent of a new disease entity in minks, subsequently reported to the OIE as an "emerging disease."

      The definition of an emerging disease is "a new infection resulting from the evolution or change of an existing pathogenic agent, a known infection spreading to a new geographic area or population, or a previously unrecognized pathogenic agent or disease diagnosed for the 1st time and which has a significant impact on animal or public health". Subscribers are referred to the archived post 20091023.3660 addressing the said event, and in particular to the following citation from the commentary by Mod.PC: "The 1968 Hong Kong influenza in humans was an H3N2, swine in Europe have been infected for decades with an H3N2, and an H3N2 swine strain became a prominent virus in the North American swine population in 1998. H3N2 has been isolated from turkeys in USA. As is the case with H1N1, it is critically important to do surveillance in both the affected animal population and people to try as best we can to establish time ordering of events and the directionality of transmission. The key to this is comprehensive,integrated outbreak investigations in geographically co-located animal and human subpopulations." - Mod.AS]

      [The interactive HealthMap/ProMED map for Hong Kong is available at:http://healthmap.org/r/1s3- - CopyEd.EJP]
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