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Risk of Zoonotic Transmission of Swine Influenza at the Human-Pig Interface in Guangdong Province, China

A cross-sectional survey was conducted from 2015 to 2018 to assess the risk of zoonotic influenza to humans at the human-pig interface in Guangdong Province, south China. One hundred and fifty-three pig farmers, 21 pig traders and 16 pig trade workers were recruited using convenience sampling and surveyed at local pig farms, live pig markets and slaughterhouses, respectively. Questionnaires were administered to collect information on the biosecurity and trading practices adopted and their knowledge and beliefs about swine influenza (SI). Most (12 of 16) trade workers said they would enter piggeries to collect pigs and only six of 11 said they were always asked to go through an on-farm disinfection procedure before entry. Only 33.7% of the interviewees believed that SI could infect humans, although pig farmers were more likely to believe this than traders and trade workers (p < .01). Several unsafe practices were reported by interviewees. 'Having vaccination against seasonal flu' (OR = 3.05, 95% CI: 1.19-8.93), 'Believe that SI can cause death in pigs' (no/yes: OR = 8.69, 95% CI: 2.71-36.57; not sure/yes: OR = 4.46, 95% CI: 1.63-14.63) and 'Keep on working when getting mild flu symptoms' (OR = 3.80, 95% CI: 1.38-11.46) were significantly and positively correlated to 'lacking awareness of the zoonotic risk of SI'. 'Lacking awareness of the zoonotic risk of SI' (OR = 3.19, 95% CI: 1.67-6.21), 'Keep on working when getting mild flu symptoms' (OR = 3.59, 95% CI: 1.57-8.63) and 'Don't know SI as a pig disease' (OR = 3.48, 95% CI: 1.02-16.45) were significantly and positively correlated to 'not using personal protective equipment when contacting pigs'. The findings of this study would benefit risk mitigation against potential pandemic SI threats in the human-pig interface in China.

Li Y, Edwards J, Huang B, Shen C, Cai C, Wang Y, Zhang G, Robertson I. Risk of zoonotic transmission of swine influenza at the human-pig interface in Guangdong Province, China. Zoonoses Public Health. 2020 June. https://doi.org/10.1111/zph.12723