Emerging Disease Information

AASV Swine Health Committee Considers SVV

Please download this PDF for some important information about the current incidence of Seneca Valley Virus (Senecavirus A).  For perspective, keep in mind that so far in 2015 we’ve had confirmed SVV from only 20 – 30 cases from across the U.S.  The incidence is low but it is much higher than the 2 or 3 sporadic cases per year that is our historical experience.  The Swine Health Information Center is funding research and epi investigations to help us understand more about this virus and be better prepared and informed if we continue to see new cases.

Better preparedness with research and information is important but only one part of what we need.  NPPC, NPB, AASV and SHIC have been working to draft plans for proposed industry responses to new or emerging diseases.  One of the components of that response plan is a panel of producers and veterinarians to discuss and recommend to state animal health officials and USDA appropriate responses based on the information available about a new or emerging disease.  In short, whether a new or emerging disease is local, regional or national and whether we have the knowledge and tools to rapidly and effectively respond.  Unfortunately, SVV has shown up before that body could be formed.

In its absence, the AASV Swine Health Committee was asked if they would help inform responses by reviewing the available information and decide the scope and distribution of SVV already in the U.S.  They also were asked to make recommendations about responses.  That is what is attached.

There are two take home messages.  First, they have defined the SVV incidence this summer as a “Type 3” status – national in scope with limited knowledge and tools.  The details of a Type 3 status are in the AASV statement.  That’s important to help put into context discussions about the effectiveness of local, specific responses like holding pigs from movement while waiting for them to stop shedding the virus.

The second is their repeated recommendation that pigs with illness or active SVV lesions should not be marketed until the lesions at least start to resolve.  We can’t afford to have a packing plant shut down because of SVV being mistaken for FMD and stopping processing and commerce.  At the same time, we can’t also become complacent and assume that active lesions are SVV, thus not alerting state or federal officials, whether on the farm or in the packing plant.  Doing so puts pork producers, veterinarians and all of our industry at risk.  Discussions are taking place with USDA and the packing companies about appropriate communications and responses about pigs that have had SVV, are healing, have had a FMD-negative test and are going to be presented to the market.

This isn’t “news”.  It’s as it always has been.  But there is heightened risk of complacency if we continue to find SVV after checking for FMD and that risk is unacceptable and avoidable.

This is an opportunity to underscore the message of careful observation and immediate reporting of clinical signs or out of ordinary events.  The National Pork Board has multiple resources, including barn posters and other written and visual materials.  They’d welcome sending you these materials to help with your effort.

Download the full document