Swine influenza has frightened many potential new swine raisers. While the disease is deadly and can be passed from pigs to humans, the chances of the pigs in your backyard catching the flu are remote, and the chances of them spreading it to you are even more remote.
Swine influenza is usually caused by the type A influenza virus. It can manifest as a deep, dry cough; loss of appetite; discharge from eyes and nose; and as a secondary bacterial infection in sows that can hurt their reproductive performance. Treatment involves reducing stress, keeping the animals dry and comfortable, and possibly treatment with an antibiotic.
The virus can pass from hogs to humans and even from humans to hogs. However, basic cooking practices and proper food sanitation will prevent the spread of the virus through consuming pork or poultry. Generally, the virus moves to humans when humans and livestock live in quite a proximity,w where an exchange of blood, nasal spray, or other body fluids is likely.
Where livestock are housed separately and basic sanitation rules are followed, the chance of it spreading to humans is greatly reduced. And animals in good housing, that have access to fresh air and sunshine, are not crowded and stressed, and are well fed, are far less vulnerable to any health concerns in the first place. So, if you practice good sanitation and treat our hogs properly, you will most likely never see swine influenza.