North American Pork Producers Encouraged to Start Considering Mosquito Control Strategies

Farmscape for May 12, 2022

Full Interview 15:48 Listen

The Swine Health Information Center is encouraging U.S. pork producers to start thinking of strategies now to reduce the potential exposure of their pigs to mosquitos. Since it was first detected in February, the number of cases on Australian hog farms of Japanese encephalitis, a virus transmitted by mosquitos, has reached 73. Dr. Megan Niederwerder, the Associate Director of the Swine Health Information Center, says the infection has resulted in high production loses.

Clip-Dr. Megan Niederwerder-Swine Health Information Center:
One of the things that we have tried to start discussing for reducing the risk in the U.S. is thinking about mosquito control now on your swine farm. So thinking about standing water, think about where mosquitos could be breeding or could serve as a potential infection source to your pigs, thinking about could there be a reduction in the mosquito entry into the farm, can you create a barrier or at least an environment that is less conducive to mosquito exposure to the pig, thinking about that now. We’re all concerned about the risk of JEV being introduced into the country and so some of these changes you can make now would reduce the risk in the future for any mosquito borne disease but we’re also hopeful that we can put risk mitigation strategies in place to reduce the risk of that virus being introduced into the country.
When the virus is introduced into new areas that it has historically not been detected, we have to think about that the potential environment in the U.S. could also be conducive for those mosquitos and the virus to be transmitted in a country where we’ve never seen the virus.

Dr. Niederwerder notes in Australia this disease has caused production losses as high as 60 to 80 percent, mostly in the form of mummified fetuses and stillborns.

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