This is in response to the letters from Nancy Schenk (Press & Dakotan, Feb. 28 and March 6):
As a primary care physician, Dr Nancy Schenk should clearly remember the 2017-2018 flu season, one of the worst on record in the U.S. with an estimated 61,099 deaths. I direct her to The CDC bulletin “H3N2v and You” available on a Google search. The predominant circulating virus during that season was the H3N2v virus. A direct quote from this bulletin reads, “H3N2v is a non-human influenza virus that normally circulates in pigs and that has infected humans. Viruses that normally circulate in pigs are “swine influenza viruses.” When these viruses infect humans, they are termed “variant” viruses.”
In that bulletin the CDC specifically recommends that, “People with health or age factors that put them at high risk for serious flu complications should avoid pigs and swine barns.” According to the CDC, pigs can infect humans and humans can infect pigs.” Dr Schenk wishes to downplay the seriousness of these variant viruses, but clearly any virus that recently killed 61,099 people in the U.S. is a serious matter.
We have many nursing homes where many of our elderly relatives live. This population is at the highest risk. Her barn is the size it is to specifically avoid regulations that are supposed to govern larger barns, and sits some 50 feet above the aquifer that supplies water to Yankton.