Memories of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) are never far from pork industry stakeholders’ minds. Anticipating that another novel or transboundary disease will someday strike, the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) set about creating a Rapid Response Program that includes the infrastructure ability to respond to an outbreak from a known or unknown etiology.
SHIC funded a proposal from Iowa State University to develop the Rapid Response Program, including the creation of a Rapid Response Corps, a team of skilled and purposefully trained persons.
Training for corps members is now available online at the SHIC website. While corps members will be required to participate in the online training, it is open to all who are interested in the Rapid Response Program or who wish to grow their knowledge of epidemiological investigation and processes, SHIC said. The objective of the newly available training program is to standardize the epidemiological investigations conducted by the Rapid Response Corps in the event of a swine disease outbreak.
“Quick response in the event of a new incident requires collaboration, training and willingness to participate in the process,” SHIC executive director Dr. Paul Sundberg said. Corps members have been identified through nominations and recruited to join the Rapid Response Program. The corps will consist of veterinarians, state and federal animal health officials, diagnosticians, virologists and epidemiologists.
When a producer or veterinarian requests a disease investigation, SHIC will coordinate engagement of Rapid Response Corps members in the appropriate region. Within 72 hours of notification, a rapid response team will be able to be on site to conduct the epidemiological investigation in cooperation with the producer and veterinarian.
SHIC has a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help fund the Rapid Response Corps investigations.
Funded by America’s pork producers to protect and enhance the health of the U.S. swine herd, SHIC focuses its efforts on prevention, preparedness and response. As a conduit of information and research, SHIC encourages the sharing of its publications and research for the benefit of swine health.