Ottawa, ON [February 2, 2012] – The Canadian Swine Health Board (CSHB) has been invited to present one of its projects at the 2012 One Health Summit later this month in Davos, Switzerland. The One Health concept recognizes that some diseases are not specific to only individual species. Animal diseases can affect people, and we likewise can infect animals.
Such an example was the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza variant that spread rapidly among people worldwide and concurrently many countries also reported human-to-swine transmission. In an attempt to protect both people and pigs, veterinarians recommend that swine workers be regularly immunized for seasonal influenza. While the Public Health Agency of Canada also encourages all Canadians to be vaccinated against influenza, there remains a relatively low public compliance rate.
Last year, the CSHB conducted a pilot project to determine whether the vaccination rate of swine workers could be increased by making immunization more convenient and easily available. The project resulted in approximately 50% of swine workers becoming vaccinated - an increase of over 300%, while the national rate for the general public remains around 34%.
"The CSHB has a policy of recommending that our producers get their flu shot, in order to protect the health of both pigs and people," said Florian Possberg, CSHB Chair."We are pleased that our project is being highlighted at the 2012 One Health Summit, to demonstrate the importance of producers even further protecting the health of their pigs."
The theme for this year's international event is "One Health - One Planet - One Future", and focuses on the interconnections of human, animal and environmental health. The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will also be represented at the 2012 One Health Summit.
The CSHB was formed to proactively address swine health challenges through leadership, coordination and support in the management of the health of the Canadian swine herd. Its members include the Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians, the Canadian Association of Veterinary Colleges, the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement, the Canadian Meat Council and the Canadian Pork Council. CSHB funding has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, as part of the initiative for the Control of Disease in the Hog Industry.
For more information, contact:
Canadian Swine Health Board
613.230.4445 Ext. 267