Source: Swine Health Information Center
As the U.S. swine industry learned from the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus outbreak of a few years back, response to a disease crisis is critical. The more rapid the response, the better the chance to contain disease spread and the disruption of pig movement.
The Swine Health Information Center took on creation of a Rapid Response Program including the infrastructure ability to respond to an outbreak from a known or unknown etiology. A part of the Rapid Response Program included the creation of a Rapid Response Corps, a team of skilled and purposefully trained persons.
Training for Corps members is now available online at the SHIC website. While Corps members will be required to participate in the online training, it is open to all who are interested in the Rapid Response Program or wish to grow their knowledge of epidemiological investigation and processes. The objective of this training program is to standardize the conduct of epidemiological investigations conducted by the Rapid Response Corps in the event of a swine disease outbreak.
“Quick response in the event of a new incident requires collaboration, training and willingness to participate in the process,” says Paul Sundberg, SHIC executive director. Corps members have been identified through nomination and recruited to join the Rapid Response Program. The Corps will consist of veterinarians, state and federal animal health officials, diagnosticians, virologists and epidemiologists.
When a disease investigation is requested by a producer or veterinarian, SHIC will coordinate engaging Rapid Response Corps members in the appropriate region. Within 72 hours of notification, a Rapid Response Team will be able to be on site to conduct the epidemiological investigation in cooperation with the producer and veterinarian. SHIC has a cooperative agreement with the USDA to help fund the Rapid Response Corps investigations.