SHIC Funds Regional Swine Disease Warning Tool Development and Testing

With funding provided by SHIC, the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project team at the University of Minnesota developed and tested a tool to enable timely communication of regional disease activity, The Early Regional Occurrence Warning project. TEROW represents additional infrastructure to respond to emerging diseases and highlights efforts towards preparedness, as it can be utilized for a wide range of diseases with the application of standardized monitoring through MSHMP.

Using porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome in the beta testing, principal investigator Dr. Mariana Kukuti and her team developed a code to retrieve and summarize, for each enrolled site, the total number of sites within a 25(+)-mile radius experiencing an ongoing PRRS outbreak, as well as a trend indicator to show if the number of cases increased or decreased from the previous week.

Researchers conducted several individual meetings with volunteer participants to accommodate possible concerns with confidentiality before rolling out TEROW reports. The final content and formatting of the report were developed with participant input by adding information that would facilitate report interpretation, thus becoming potentially more actionable.

Each participating system provided a list of approved email recipients to receive the weekly system-specific email. Researchers were able to fully automate reporting processes so participants receive weekly TEROW reports without any additional action steps on their part other than their regular participation in MSHMP.

Developed automation not only generates TEROW reports but also automatically adjusts the radius if confidentiality criteria is at risk, as well as automatically sends system-specific reports to avoid manual errors. This tool fosters communication between industry stakeholders and provides the opportunity to quickly respond to infectious disease threats by making changes to their operations to decrease likelihood of exposure and thus reducing regional transmission and lowering regional disease pressure.

MSHMP’s primary mission, capturing and analyzing swine health data on a weekly basis from participating farms, makes TEROW possible. TEROW remains open for participation. Producers and practitioners who would like to better understand regional disease occurrence are encouraged to contact MSHMP by emailing Dr. Cesar Corzo at [email protected] to learn more about enrollment.

The Swine Health Information Center, launched in 2015 with Pork Checkoff funding, protects and enhances the health of the US swine herd by minimizing the impact of emerging disease threats through preparedness, coordinated communications, global disease monitoring, analysis of swine health data, and targeted research investments. As a conduit of information and research, SHIC encourages sharing of its publications and research. Forward, reprint, and quote SHIC material freely. For more information, visit or contact Dr. Paul Sundberg at [email protected] or Dr. Megan Niederwerder at [email protected].