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Poor little pigs, poor farmers (How Mixing vessels mix)

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  • #16
    Re: Poor little pigs, poor farmers (How Mixing vessels mix)

    Ok, I'll post here some PM I had with AlaskaDenise (she gave me her ok).
    We had no proof, but it seem a little bit like the canadian enzootic H3N2 swine influenza has reach Alaska where there are some little familial farm breeding pig in proximity to chicken in a flyway with strong H5N1 potential ! oOF !


    pneumonia in pigs here

    I was talking to some local folks that have pigs. They told me that several families are having problems with unusual pneumonia in their pigs. They claim it's because of the unusual weather....but I don't think it's anything very out of the ordinary.

    I'm wondering if there is ANY chance that it is carried by the migrating birds. The northern wheatear, came from Africa, went through E. Turkey & Armenia to arrive in our nearby hills by about May 15th. The Arctic Warbler was all over SE Asia last winter and it also in our local hills, but lower closer to homes.

    What do you think?

    Should I suggest they consider H5N1?

    They say it is unprecedented to get this much swine pneumonia. They say the animals are resonding to antibiotics, but then if it's a mild viral (LP H5N1), perhaps it's simply resolving itself and appearing to respond to antibiotics.



    Are they individuals family with pigs or are they little farm ?
    I think it's possible, but it's also possible they have many other respiratory diseases.

    There is a list of the common swine respiratory diseases that we test on a common basis here.

    - PRRS virus
    - Swine Influenza H1N1 clasical
    - Swine Influenza H3N2 ( the canadian epidemic of last year that I posted about...)
    - Mycoplasma Hyopneumoniae
    - Mycoplasma Hyorhinis
    - Strep Suis
    - E.coli
    - Actino-pleuropneumoniae
    - Haemophilus parasuis
    - Circovirus
    - Tgevirus

    All theses pathogene can haved respiratory complication.

    The most commons are the PRRS virus, Circovirus and
    Swine Influenza.

    - PRRSv is a problem everywhere
    - Circovirus have other symptoms that can hardly be misdiagnosed with influenza.

    It is highly possible that the enzootic H3N2 that cause problem in canada last year haved reach Alaska.
    It haved cause an epidemic in summer here so when it first came into an area it does not act like an seasonal influenza ( like the old swine H1N1 )

    What are their symptoms ?
    The best way is to send sample to a laboratory.

    You cannot send sample direcly to my lab in canada but you can do so in to the American Desk in minessota

    lab adress was there

    They are just a desk but they have the regulatory paper to send samples here the main lab in canada.

    I developped RT-PCR probes to detect H5 and to quickly type the Quigai strain last fall but have'nt test them on any H5 sample...
    We do not have the regulatory permission to handle aviary samples but pigs are our daily bread !

    Be carefull, sampling and shipping procedure is toutchy so you should better ask a vet or if you try something ask me for more details.

    In fact the best thing I can tell is to call a veterinarian and to let them know that you would prefer to haved a lab test to comfirm and to sub-type influenza if it is positive.


    Thanks for the information.

    They are families with pigs, but it's more than one family.

    After reading your posts about H3N2, that seems a likely possibility.

    I will talk with them more in addition to other swine owners and try to see what the symptoms are.

    Many people here are unaware of H5N1 symptoms other than dead or sick birds.

    If it looks serious I'll suggest the labs you wrote about.

    Thank you so much for your help.


    I talked to the owner of the sick pigs again tonight.

    He was interested in the possibility of the illness having come from Canada up the flyway with the wild birds. He had purchased the baby pigs from a rancher in the interior - Delta Junction - which is under the flyways from canada. he was unaware of the increase in swine flu in Canada and was glad to know about it.

    However, he said his pigs seemed to respond to the tetrycyclin he gave them.

    Interestingly, he and his family have been sick with a respiratory ailment. I told him how Canadian farmers are catching flu from their pigs.

    I told him I'll print out the appicable articles and some of your "words of wisdom."

    I also explained that if the Canadian swine flu were to combine with the SE Asian H5N1 here - from the Arctic Warblers - we could see a more serious version of either bird or swine flu.

    I'm now having my 2 days off and won't see him until Friday, so we'll see how it goes for him.

    Thanks again,



    I forgot one detail - they also raise chickens. But they are supposedly well contained.





    Usually this H3N2 swine virus is mild. So probably the pneumonia cases are from secondary complication so the antibiotics could be of some use.

    It can be from bird contamination or it can be from a human contamination...

    The fact that you tell me they have had also that kind of flu-like illness before their pigs get sick really goes in the same patern as to be the H3N2 with than N from human lineage.

    Do you give me the permission to copy the PM we had about that in the "mixing vessel" thread ?
    I think this is interesting data.




    Sure, you're welcome to copy the thread.

    I'm not sure of the timing of the family's illness. I may see him again Friday, so will check with him then.


    I mentioned that I am concerned about this swine flu combining with the Asian Bird Flu. Here is an abundance map of where the Arctic Warbler is in Alaska. My area is to the left of the dark green central area and the source of pigs is on the right - just where the birds from the central flyway fly through the state on their way to the west coast.


    • #17
      Re: Poor little pigs, poor farmers (How Mixing vessels mix)

      Finally, the farmer developped symptoms before he buy the pigs.

      But the possibility of swineH3N2 in Alaska is still high and this farmer can haved infected his pigs...


      • #18
        Re: Poor little pigs, poor farmers (How Mixing vessels mix)

        Interesting thread. Thanks very much for sharing. Poor little pigs and farmers.


        • #19
          Re: Poor little pigs, poor farmers (How Mixing vessels mix)

          The story continues....

          Tonight I talked with a visitor deeply "working" on vacation. He writes science policy for the US govt. While talking about possible H5N1 in Alaska, I mentioned the Canadian pig flu, potentially winging it's way up here & mixing with migrating Asian birds. He was not aware of this potential, despite having just attended a related conference.

          I asked him for: a big VAX plant ASAP!

          "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation


          • #20
            Re: Poor little pigs, poor farmers (How Mixing vessels mix)

            Pretty interesting thread you got here, Mingus. Sorry to hear about that illness, LMonty. The mysteries continue...


            • #21
              Re: Poor little pigs, poor farmers (How Mixing vessels mix)

              Here is a document from the MAPAQ (ministry of agriculture, fishing and food) about this swineH3N2 epidemic.

              It is only preleminary data written around 25 august 2005 so, the epidemic was not over.

              But the collected data from this date show us a epidemiological pattern very close to the one we see in a pandemic influenza when a new subtype get in a new species with no immunity.

              Click image for larger version

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              • #22
                Re: Poor little pigs, poor farmers (How Mixing vessels mix)

                Traduction of relevant epidemiological data:

                - Morbidity 50%;
                - Mortality 2%;
                - Swines recover well;
                - Females pigs are more sick than Males;
                - 60% of vetenary found the clinical picture to be different from what was previously seen. Symptoms are more severe and a different category of swine fell ill.
                - 55% did not have vaccination program nad 40% haved one but for H1N1 only;
                - 50% think to change their vaccination program;
                - in 90% of cases an other swine breeding is located in a 5km radius;
                - in 45% of cases an aviary breeding is in a 5km radius;
                - 60% of breeders buy they pigs in québec and none haved do that in Ontario nor in the maritime provinces;
                - The majority of veterinary answerer think that contamination haved been brought in the farm by airway.


                to that date ( 25 august 2005):

                - 90% PCR analysys asked for thoses outbreak where positives;
                - 76% of serological analysys where positives;
                - 76 cases haved been diagnosed in Québec been H3N2 from 1 april and 17 august.
                (this latest data is greatly underevaluated because the vast majority of swines are not tested in MAPAQ's laboratory and just some samples are taken for earch rooms where pigs are in.)

                __________________________________________________ ___

                That what's happen when a new sub-type burst in a population with no immunity to...


                • #23
                  Re: Poor little pigs, poor farmers (How Mixing vessels mix)

                  From that article
                  Investigation of exposure to swine influenza viruses in Ontario (Canada) finisher herds in 2004 and 2005
                  Zvonimir Poljak<sup>a</sup><sup>, </sup><sup></sup><sup>, </sup><sup></sup>, Robert M. Friendship<sup>a</sup>, Susy Carman<sup>b</sup>, W. Bruce McNab<sup>c</sup> and Catherine E. Dewey<sup>a</sup>
                  The H3N2 swine epidemic situation in Ontario in 2005

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Fig. 2. Geographical location and size of the most likely cluster of H3N2 positive finisher herds in 2005. The centroid of the cluster is not depicted because of confidentiality. Each dot of the dot-density map represents seven swine farms in the target population according to the Statistics Canada 2001 Agricultural Census. Choropleth map represents categories (CD-level sampling fractions) of sampling proportions at the Census Division.