The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) has funded a near real-time monitoring system for swine diseases around the world. Reviewed by SHIC’s Monitoring and Analysis Working Group, the system will include identification of potential hazards due to new diseases or changes in current diseases’ status, screening steps to evaluate the information collected, and informing the U.S. pork industry through regular, timely reporting.
This project, being developed at the University of Minnesota, will use a private-public-academic partnership to develop the system. The University of Minnesota and USDA/APHIS Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health will be collaborating on the project.
The U.S. swine industry is free of several swine diseases existing in other countries while having other diseases in common. “Having a systematic way to monitor new or emerging diseases around the globe will help keep the U.S. pork industry informed of risks. Knowing the changes in risks will spur thinking about how to mitigate them,” remarked Dr. Paul Sundberg, SHIC Executive Director.
Multiple sources of information may contribute to the development of a near real-time global monitoring system for swine diseases. Sources of information may be classified as soft or unofficial (rumors or data that may or may not have been corroborated) and hard or official (confirmed by national or international agencies).
On a regular basis, data will be evaluated by a group of swine health experts, including collaboration with the USDA/APHIS Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health, and a report generated. The summary will include interpretation from the experts that add their impression about the event; does it sound accurate, should I care about this, why or why not. Follow-ups with local contacts will also be done, when possible. The information will be graded to reflect a consensus of risk to the U.S. pork industry and the report will be released. The system is expected to be operational early in 2018.