Emerging Disease Information

Emerging Disease Communications Action Plan

To effectively respond to emerging swine diseases, early communication about outbreaks with new or unexpected etiologies is needed.  To facilitate this veterinarians and pork producers must know the actionables and contacts in the event of an emerging disease.  The Emerging Disease Communication Plan will inform them of the process that will follow notification and the resources available to respond.

Confidentiality of producer, veterinarian or site identifiers will be strictly maintained during the initial calls.  Any actions because of those calls will maintain confidentiality to the level requested by the producer or veterinarian unless state or federal swine health regulations dictate otherwise.

Step 1.  Getting initial diagnostics
A disease event with unexpectedly high morbidity or mortality has occurred and there is a veterinarian of record for the event.

  • If the case presentation is consistent with a possible disease of regulatory interest (FMD, CSF, ASF, PRV, Brucellosis, Tuberculosis, etc.) call your state or federal animal health official and follow their instructions.
  • If the case presentation is not consistent with a disease of regulatory interest or diagnostics have ruled out those diseases, satisfy a routine diagnostic workup with the advice of a veterinarian and a VDL diagnostician.
    • If a new or emerging pathogen is found, go to Step 2 and contact an industry association representative.
    • If the diagnostics are unsatisfactory, support for further, follow-up diagnostics may be made available from SHIC.  Go to the SHIC website, www.swinehealth.org, for complete information.

Step 2.  Letting someone know

  • Contact any veterinarian with any one of the pork industry organizations (listed in alphabetical order).
    • American Association of Swine Veterinarians
    • National Pork Board
    • National Pork Producers Council
    • Swine Health Information Center

Step 3.  Organizing and getting full information

  • The person initially contacted will inform the other veterinarians within all the above organizations.
    Confidentiality will be maintained according to the discussion on the initial notification call.

Step 4.  Assessing and deciding if further action is needed

  • A conference call will be held with the producer and/or veterinarian of the case, the veterinarians of the pork industry organizations and subject matter experts as needed, based on the preliminary information.
    • The objective of the call will be to gather important information and come to an agreement on if/what further action is needed.

Step 5.  Evaluating response options

  • Response options as a result of the Step 4 conference call may include:
    • A decision of no response may be appropriate.
    • Further input and follow-up with subject matter experts may be needed.
    • Communication with the state pork association and/or state and/or federal animal health officials.
      • An accredited and licensed veterinarian has the responsibility to report high consequence disease events to the appropriate state and federal animal health officials.
    • Deployment of a Rapid Response Team to help investigate epidemiologically distinct outbreaks.
      • The Rapid Response Team can be on the site within 72 hours of activation by invitation and agreement with the producer and veterinarian of the case.
    • The Swine Disease Response Council may be activated.
      • The objective of the Swine Disease Response Council is to get state-federal-industry recommendations about possible responses to emerging diseases.  More information can be found by contacting the Swine Disease Response Council coordinator at the National Pork Board.