The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions has confirmed 16 deaths last week, attributable to the H1N1 virus. Three other deaths were likely to be H1N1 related. Seventy-six pediatric deaths have been recorded since April and 37 states are reporting widespread influenza activity as hospitalization rates for laboratory-confirmed influenza are higher than expected for this time of year.
The Pork Checkoff continues to advise producers, farm personnel and others who have contact with pigs to get the regular seasonal flu vaccination as soon as possible and the novel H1N1 vaccination when available. The Checkoff's Dr. Liz Wagstrom recommends modifying sick-leave policies to encourage workers to stay away from the farm if they are suffering from acute respiratory infections.