Flu Vaccinations Protect People and Pigs

Now that fall has arrived, it's time to schedule flu vaccinations for yourself, employees and family. "Everyone associated with the farm should be vaccinated whether they work directly with pigs or not," says Heather Fowler, DVM, Pork Checkoff's director of producer and public health. "That is the best thing producers can do to protect their families, co-workers and pigs from the flu." [Source: PorkCheckoff]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older be vaccinated annually against seasonal influenza. Equally important is to have sick-leave policies in place that encourage workers to stay home if they are suffering from flu-like like respiratory symptoms. Influenza is a virus and infections can last from three to seven days, and people with active infections can be contagious for several days. Fowler emphasizes that workers should only return to work 24 hours after their fever breaks without using a fever-reducing medication.

Other on-farm practices should receive extra attention this time of year, which are spelled out in the Pork Quality Assurance® Plus program, which addresses influenza. The good news is that seasonal flu vaccinations are widely available today, including convenient options such as a local pharmacy or health clinic.