Swine flu

This page has information about:

  • swine flu
  • the 2009 Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 flu outbreak.

Swine flu

Swine flu is a contagious respiratory disease in pigs caused by type A influenza virus.

Outbreaks are common year round. People can be infected from sick pigs. It is very rare for infections to spread between people.

There is no risk of contracting swine flu from properly handled pork and pig meat products.

2009 H1N1 flu outbreak

The outbreak of H1N1 virus in 2009 was a new strain of flu that had components of:

  • human
  • avian
  • swine flu. 

It was called swine flu during the outbreak before it was known to be a new strain. 

The virus has now been named Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09. It is expected to become a seasonal influenza virus.

There is no evidence that the flu outbreak was caused by pigs transferring the virus to humans. 

There is no risk of contracting Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 from properly handled pork and pig meat products.

Information for pig producers

Influenza A(H1N1) pdm09

Influenza A(H1N1) pdm09 can be passed from humans to pigs. There is no evidence that pigs can transfer it back to humans. 

Pig producers must make sure humans with the influenza virus do not come into contact with pigs.

Symptoms of the A(H1N1)pdm09 virus:

  • 5%-10% of pigs develop a cough 3-5 days after infection
  • signs of depression.

Call the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline immediately on 1800 675 888 if you notice symptoms of A(H1N1)pdm09 virus in your pigs.

Swine flu

The following symptoms can be expected in pigs that have not been exposed to the disease before:

  • going off feed
  • sudden high fever
  • discharge from eyes and nose
  • sneezing
  • breathing difficulties
  • barking cough
  • huddling and inactivity.

Swine flu is likely to affect an entire group of pigs. Only a very small number (1-4%) of infected pigs are likely to die.

Call the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline immediately on 1800 675 888 if you notice symptoms of swine flu in your pigs.

Page Last Reviewed: 13 Feb 2015
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