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SHIC keeps an eye on global swine diseases

This first report focuses on African swine fever, foot-and-mouth disease and classical swine fever as the near real-time monitoring system is developed and tested.

Source: American Association of Swine Veterinarians
Keeping an eye on the global swine industry, and the pathogens inflicting herds around the world, can help prepare U.S. hog producers and veterinarians for what could possibly be coming our way. The Swine Health Information Center is tasked with focusing on swine pathogens domestically and internationally, and the first global look has been issued with the Swine Disease Global Surveillance Report.

This November report focuses on a trio of high priority diseases — African swine fever, foot-and-mouth disease and classical swine fever — as the near real-time monitoring system is developed and tested. Subsequent reports, beginning in January, will include information about additional, production-affecting diseases.

Two areas of concern show up in this first disease report. The first is an outbreak of ASF in Belarus. Though reported in the press, there has been no official report of the disease in the interim. The second is a large outbreak of ASF in the Tyumen region of Russia. Outbreaks in Siberia have the added concern of moving within the region toward the pig-dense areas in China. The borders in this region across Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China are uncontrolled in many areas.

Funded by SHIC, the system was developed at the University of Minnesota using a private-public-academic partnership including collaboration with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health. This first, near real-time surveillance report was a key priority for SHIC in 2017 and its debut has been anticipated by stakeholders looking for relevant, timely data on global swine diseases.

SHIC encourages feedback on the report. “This is the start of our global near real-time swine disease surveillance reporting,” remarks Paul Sundberg, SHIC executive director. “We want to make this informative and useful for producers and veterinarians. Please share your thoughts on content, format and suggestions to make it better.” 

While planned to be published monthly, incidents of emerging swine diseases will be communicated immediately, as needed. Experts reviewing the information will use their expertise to score the relevance and importance of each incident to the U.S. pork industry. As conditions may change, so will the relevance scoring.

As part of the ongoing development of the report, collaborators are working on a system to enable individuals to enter their own data and information on international health events that may be considered of interest to U.S. practitioners.

“Having a systematic way to monitor new or emerging diseases around the globe will help keep U.S. pork producers and veterinarians informed of risks. Knowing the changes in risks will spur thinking about how to mitigate them,” Sundberg says.

Funded by America’s pork producers to protect and enhance the health of the U.S. swine herd, the Swine Health Information Center focuses its efforts on prevention, preparedness and response. For more information, visit the SHIC website or contact Sundberg.

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