Improved Response to Emerging Disease Threats

by 5m Editor
11 May 2012, at 7:26am

CANADA - The Canadian Swine Health Board is confident improved communications among swine veterinarians across Canada will improve their ability to detect and respond to emerging diseases, writes Bruce Cochrane.

To address gaps identified within the Canadian swine industry's national surveillance system the Canadian Swine Health Board is spearheading the creation of a new national Swine Health Intelligence Network.

Dr Dan Hurnik, the chair of the Canadian Swine Health Board's Long Term Disease Risk Management Committee and a member of the faculty of the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island, explains project planners are creating an internet based social network that will allow swine health professionals to share information and thereby respond more quickly.

Dr Dan Hurnik-Canadian Swine Health Board

At this point we still have to manage the details of how the information will flow because we will need to get permission in each case that if information is used that the people supplying it are comfortable with what it's going to be used for.

In a nutshell it's going to be veterinarians who have a relationship with farmers and the participating farms are comfortable about sharing their health information, not their personal information, not specifically where the farms are but a general sense of what's happening on farms in terms of new diseases.

Veterinarians will then share amongst each other without farm names some of the trends that are happening providing again the veterinarians want to participate and then the multiple herd level data that's not identified will be analyzed by epidemiologists statistically to see if the trends are real or whether it's just a random activity out on farms.

Dr Hurnik says the Swine Health Intelligence Network will be a set of eyes that will pick up new trends early.

He says by recognizing problems and initiating action sooner the response time will hopefully be much shorter and the industry will be better served.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on various pig diseases by clicking here.