Protecting pigs from H1N1

25-08-2009 | |

The threat of spreading the H1N1 virus between pigs and people is a real threat, according to the New York Times. Not in the way most might think, however.

Vets fear that humans will spread the virus to the animals and are instituting precautions at state fairs and other places where the pigs come into contact with people.

When the Oregon State Fair opens next week, the pigs will be kept behind an elaborate configuration of plastic and ribbon barriers, taller-than-usual fences and off-limits walkways. The state veterinarian is also urging visitors to stay two metres away.

The worry is he spread of swine flu, but with a twist: state officials hope to insulate the pigs from sick people.

‘Help us protect the piggies,’ signs at the fair will read in pink. “The whole idea of the animals getting sick from people is a foreign concept to people, but that’s what we’re looking at here,” said Iowa state veterinarian David E. Marshall.