Health Intelligence Network Allows Early Disease Detection

by 5m Editor
18 December 2012, at 10:03am

CANADA - A veterinarian with Greenbelt Swine Veterinary Services says an event detection system, being developed as part of the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network, will provide earlier indications of developing disease issues, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network, launched in late July on behalf of the Canadian Swine Health Board, is a national communications network which allows swine veterinarians across Canada to share information on disease issues developing in their regions.

Information collected through on-line surveys is discussed as part of three regional and one national veterinary meeting to identify trends and develop responses.

Dr Chris Byra, with Greenbelt Swine Veterinary Services, one of a group of companies involved in developing the network, reports it's usefulness in managing health is already being demonstrated.

Dr Chris Byra-Greenbelt Swine Veterinary Services

The social network, which is these quarterly meetings that occur, try to obtain information about the health of what's been going on in the previous three months.

Our sources of information then become a clinical impressions survey that we do of veterinarians but also the second major component of this is a data network where the daily visits to farms and telephone calls from farmers, there's some specific notes about the disease problems that are occurring that are forwarded on a timely basis, within a week.

That information is stripped completely of any identification so we don't know what farm it is.

We know generally which area it is but could never pinpoint the farm.

That information then becomes the source of what's going on.

Recently we've seen in one of the provinces a jump in coughing pigs.

It's related to seasonal influenza in pig farms but the disease has climbed quickly and we picked it up fairly early on.

We're just currently developing the detailed event detection reports which will give us that information on a daily basis.

Dr Byra says, as the event detection system becomes fully operational, the response time to new problems will become quicker allowing more timely warnings and advice.