The Value of an Early Warning Surveillance System for Emerging Diseases

The occurrence of significant animal health events around the world has heightened interest by producers and veterinarians in animal disease surveillance. Recent events, the Classical Swine Fever (CSF) outbreaks in the Netherlands, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreaks in Taiwan, the U.K. and Europe, and the Nipah virus outbreak in Malaysia, have increased awareness of the risk associated with foreign animal disease (FAD). The introduction of a FAD into the U.S. would be devastating to pork producers. Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRS), E. coli F18, H3N2 swine influenza virus, Postweaning Multi-systemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS) and erysipelas are examples of the recently emerged and re-emerged diseases that have been very costly to pork producers in the U.S. and around the world. Explosive growth in global travel and world trade coupled with continual evolving pork production practices, present concern that the risk of FAD incursion or new disease emergence in this country is increasing.