Those Who Can Encouraged to Get Flu Vaccinations

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Farmscape for October 22, 2018

Full Interview 9:47 Listen

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine is encouraging everyone who can to be vaccinated to protect themselves and their families against influenza. Influenza is viral infection that infects mostly the upper respiratory tract of most mammals but it can move down into the lungs and cause pneumonia. Peak flu season most commonly occurs between December and February but cases of seasonal flu are already being reported in both pigs and people. Dr. Susan Detmer, an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathology with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says it’s important to be vaccinated to avoid spreading the virus to other people, and for farm workers, to avoid bringing onto the farm.

Clip-Dr. Susan Detmer-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
There are some people that should not be vaccinated and that’s something that they should discuss with their doctors but there are a lot of people that should be vaccinated. Certainly people over the age of 65 and children under the age of 12, they’re more likely to have more serious infections and they are less likely to have antibodies.
The older people, their antibodies wane but the young people have never been exposed to the strains we see circulating in humans so those people benefit the most. But if, because of an immune disease or some other disease, they can’t be vaccinated it’s so much more important for the people around them to be vaccinated so they’re not bringing viruses home and sharing them with their family and friends. It is important. It’s a public health issue. Generally we only get about 20 percent of people that get vaccinated. The more people that are vaccinated, the less those virus strains or cross reactive strains to the viruses in the vaccine are circulating, those viruses will be brought down so we don’t see as much of it unless people get infected.

Dr. Detmer says you’re doing it for the herd, the human herd if not just for yourself.

For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork

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