Reports of a mystery swine disease in the Dominican Republic were noticed by the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC), with the help of the National Pork Producers Council and the US Animal Health Association, in late June this year. Found in local press from the island nation, the description painted a severe picture of unique swine illness. SHIC reached out to USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for more information, concerned about a novel swine disease and its potential impact on the US herd. APHIS in turn contacted international resources for more information. APHIS learned the initial press report was exaggerated and shared this information with SHIC, relieving concern. However, APHIS also reports they will continue to follow the situation until a firm diagnosis is achieved.
APHIS then shared a more accurate report (Spanish language publication) on the illness in pigs in the Dominican Republic. The article reported 50 weanling pigs from backyard farms had died recently. The article also explained the sows were culled from commercial farms and have not been vaccinated for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), circovirus, mycoplasma, or other common swine diseases with one exception due to a government program offering a Classical swine fever vaccine, Pestiffa, at little to no cost. After antibiotics were administered, it was said no further mortalities were reported (prior to the article’s publication). Local authorities are waiting for lab results.
SHIC continues to be diligent in efforts to identify swine disease threats. This situation is one example of the effort to be prepared and ask questions to fulfill the Center’s mission of protecting US swine herd health. SHIC welcomes other such reports for follow-up as well. Veterinarians’ first responsibility is to report domestic, unique, or unknown disease outbreaks to state and federal animal health officials and then reports of swine disease outbreaks can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SHIC, launched in 2015 with Pork Checkoff funding, continues to focus efforts on prevention, preparedness, and response to novel and emerging swine disease for the benefit of US swine health. As a conduit of information and research, SHIC encourages sharing of its publications and research. Forward, reprint, and quote SHIC material freely. SHIC is funded by America’s pork producers to fulfill its mission to protect and enhance the health of the US swine herd. For more information, visit http://www.swinehealth.org or contact Dr. Sundberg at email@example.com.