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Prioritize biosecurity before attending annual meetings

In response to the 2019 novel coronavirus, the CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China.

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians is gearing up for its annual meeting coming up in Atlanta, Ga., and the organization offers good tips to keep in mind with all the swine and human pathogens circulating the globe. While these tips are intended for those attending the AASV annual meeting, these are valid reminders for any producer or practitioner to keep in mind to protect the U.S. swine herd from foreign animal diseases, including African swine fever, classical swine fever and foot-and-mouth disease.

If you are traveling from a country or have recently visited a country with cases of ASF, CSF or FMD, remember to prioritize biosecurity.

  • Declare international farm visits upon entry into the United States
  • Do not bring prohibited foods into the United States
  • Follow farm biosecurity measures and downtime requirements (recommended minimum five nights with no swine contact) if visiting a U.S. farm
  • Do not wear any items, including footwear, from your international farm visit to a U.S. farm

Declaring farm visits in ASF, CSF or FMD-positive countries to Customs
When returning to the United States after visiting a farm or being in contact with animals in a country (or countries) with ASF, or any other FAD, you should declare this information to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol via written form, airport kiosk or verbally. Then you should be diverted for an ag secondary screening by an ag specialist. The Swine Health Information Center, National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council and the AASV are asking you to report your experience if you are not diverted for secondary screening with return to the United States following overseas travel.

If you are not diverted for secondary screening after declaring you have been on a farm or in contact with animals in an ASF or other FAD-positive nation, email the following to Paul Sundberg, SHIC executive director.

  • Your name (optional: please specify if you do not want your name shared)
  • Country (or countries) visited
  • Date and time of return
  • Airline and flight number
  • Arrival airport
  • Declaration method (written form, kiosk or verbal)
  • Customs and Border Patrol employee name, if possible (displayed on right side of shirt)
  • Any other pertinent circumstances

Sundberg will be aggregating this information and the organizations will share with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to help identify any weaknesses in their protocol and systems.

2019 novel coronavirus and international travel
The 2019 novel coronavirus, COVID-19, situation is rapidly evolving. AASV is following CDC guidelines and will continue to monitor for any changes in recommendations.

According to the CDC, the risk of COVID-19 in the United States is low. Imported cases in travelers have been detected in the United States. Person-to-person transmission has been seen among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan, China.

The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China. The United States has implemented the following travel restrictions to people traveling from China.

  1. Foreign nationals who have visited China in the past 14 days may not enter the United States.
  2. American citizens, lawful permanent residents and their families who have been in China in the past 14 days will be allowed to enter the United States, but will be redirected to one of 11 airports to undergo health screening. Depending on their health and travel history, they will have some level of restrictions on their movements for 14 days from the time they left China.

For the most up-to-date information regarding the outbreak and any travel announcements, visit the CDC website.

It's important to remember that the risk of novel coronavirus infection is associated with recent travel to China, not with groups of people or certain ethnicities.

As biosecurity is critical for animal health, infection prevention best practices are important for human health, too. Wash hands frequently, avoid travel and stay home if sick, and get an annual influenza vaccine as recommended by the CDC.

Source: American Association of Swine Veterinarians, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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