APL urges H1N1 tests for pig workers

05-08-2009 | |

Australia’s pork industry is calling for piggery workers with flu-like symptoms to be tested for the influenza A H1N1 virus. Andrew Spencer from Australian Pork Limited says people with swine flu pose a serious threat to the industry.

Spencer says doctors are not routinely testing for the virus which is making it difficult for producers to manage their herds.

“We’ve got producers who have had sick workers, have sent them off to the doctor and have been very keen to find out whether they had the swine flu variant of human influenza and they haven’t been able to tell that because doctors aren’t allowed to just run routine testing for it,” he said.

Spencer says it is important for producers to know if their workers have had the virus. “If he’s noticing anything in his pigs later, to know the answer to that question is important for him to be able to make a good decision about what further steps should be taken,” he said.