SHIC Rapid Response Imitative Speeds up Response to Potential Emerging Disease Outbreaks

Farmscape for January 26, 2021

Full Interview 10:34 Listen

The Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center says the quicker an investigation into a potential emerging disease outbreak can begin, the greater its chance of success. The Swine Health Information Center’s Rapid Response Imitative was created to speed up the response to potential emerging disease outbreaks and help identify and correct the biosecurity gaps that allowed a farm to become infected.
SHIC Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg explains, the further you move from the start of an outbreak, the colder the trail becomes and the harder it gets to get accurate data.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
We have six areas in the U.S. and when we get a notice from diagnostic labs, from veterinarians, from producers, that there’s something going on that we want to investigate, that we think is an emerging issue, something happening on this farm that could be an emerging disease and it’s worth investigating how it got there and that’s really the objective. When that happens these phone calls happen right away. The goal is within 72 hours we’ll be out on the farm helping that producer look at the biosecurity and look at the things that allowed this outbreak to happen. One of the things that I want to stress is that this is good as an emerging disease tool but, in the instance for example of African Swine Fever, Classical Swine Fever or Foot and Mouth Disease, those are USDA controlled so we won’t get involved with those kind of foreign animal disease outbreaks until there’s a policy change from USDA which would mean that that disease most likely is endemic in the U.S. Then, as we go into an eradication program, this program might be helpful in that instance as well.

Dr. Sundberg notes the six regions are small enough to allow investigators to be on site within 72 hours of being invited by the affected producer to determine the pathways by which an emerging disease made entry and come up with recommendations to prevent future lapses and keep the infection from reaching of other swine units.

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