The General Manger of Manitoba Pork says the identification of two rare strains of Influenza virus in humans in Manitoba poses a minimal risk to humans.

On Friday Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer and Chief Veterinary Officer confirmed two positive human cases, one of H1N1 and one of H1N2 virus and that the cases are unrelated.

Cam Dahl, the General Manager of Manitoba Pork, notes although these strains are reportable to the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization, they represent a low-risk people.

These are variations of the Influenza A virus and these two strains in particular are really quite rare in people. The H1N2 variant, there’s only been 29 cases in the world since we started monitoring in 2005 and the H1N1 variant that was found, there’s only been two cases ever found in Canada.

These are two very rare strains of Influenza and there’s very low risk as was announced by the CVO and the Chief Public Health Officer on Friday. There’s very low risk of transmissibility between people. In fact, we have no evidence of sustained transmissibility between people so there’s very low risk to the public and fortunately the two people that did contract these strains of the flu, their symptoms were very mild and they have both recovered so there’s really very little risk to the Manitoba population.

Cam Dahl-Manitoba Pork

Dahl encourages pork producers to maintain strict biosecurity to minimize the risk of spreading these and any other infections. He stresses neither of these strains of Influenza are food borne illnesses so with barbecue season, coming up Manitobans can continue to include pork on the menu as a safe, nutritious and delicious option.