COVID-19 Precautions Expected to Reduce Fall Flu Pressure


Farmscape for June 18, 2020

Full Interview 16:12 Listen

A Veterinary Pathologist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine expects precautions being taken to minimise the spread of COVID-19 to reduce the risk of flu this coming fall. The Western College of Veterinary Medicine has completed a summary of seasonal influenza over the past two years. Dr. Susan Detmer, an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathology with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says COVID-19 precautions are also limiting movement of influenza.

Clip-Dr. Susan Detmer-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
The COVID-19 has actually presented us with an interesting scenario. With less movement of people even between the provinces in Canada we’re actually seeing less disease and less transmission. There’s still movements of pigs and we do see virus move with movements of pigs but it is a positive thing. We do expect to see less influenzas in people so long as they’re doing their social distancing, they’re not interacting with large groups, they’re not travelling on planes. All of that is actually going to benefit the pigs hopefully this fall.
We’ll see what happens but it is something that some of us are keeping an eye on. With the lockdowns normally during this time of year is southern hemisphere. Australia, South America, those areas where flu is transmitting still because it’s their winter time, what comes back to us come next fall, we’ll see if that is any different. If there’s less virus being transmitted in Australia because they’re trying to stop the Coronavirus from transmitting as well, then we could actually have a better fall flu season because people are not interacting at the levels that they normally would.

Dr. Detmer acknowledges, with pigs, the viruses that we have on farm are going to stay unless a disease eradication plan is implemented.
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Bruce Cochrane.

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