30 April 2009, Rome - With WHO raising its pandemic alert level from 4 to 5, countries worldwide are being urged to take adequate precautionary measures against the newly found A/H1N1 virus, and to be prepared for the eventual case of a pandemic.
The challenge for governments, with FAO assistance, is to review measures to be taken in the veterinary realm, despite the fact that “there is currently no evidence to suggest that the novel human-to-human transmitted H1N1 influenza virus is circulating in pigs in Mexico or anywhere else in the world, reasserted FAO Chief Veterinary Officer of FAO, Mr. Joseph Domenech. He added that “given current facts and scientific understanding, consumption of pig meat does not bring any increased risk to the consumer."
It is for these reasons that FAO, the World Health Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) agreed to no longer refer to “swine flu” but instead to "Influenza A/H1N1".
“Stepping up swine influenza control measures in pigs, in the absence of the A/H1N1 virus, such as control of movements and culling, is not justified,” said Joseph Domenech. However, he recommended that pig disease surveillance be reinforced in order to detect, identify and monitor any new event which could be related to this new A/H1N1 virus circulation in humans.