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SHIC-Funded Global Surveillance System Maintains Focus on Swine Health Risks

The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) Global Swine Disease Monitoring Report has provided near real-time information on swine diseases regularly since November 2017, included in SHIC's monthly enewsletter, posted online on the SHIC website, as well as published using channels available to authors at the University of Minnesota Department of Veterinary Population Medicine. The project created and now maintains a public, private, academic partnership for its reporting. Initial funding for the program will soon end, however, the team at the University of Minnesota VPM is preparing a proposal for continued funding of the project after August 2020. Ideas for improvements to the content or timing of the Global Swine Disease Monitoring Reports and the program itself are welcome. Please email SHIC Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg with your comments.

This reporting system identifies hazards and subsequently scores them using a step-wise procedure of screening to identify issues that potentially represent a risk for the US. A combination of soft and official data is actively and passively collected and organized. Following successive screening steps in which data and information is modified, edited, corrected, and expanded in collaboration with USDA/APHIS CEAH and selected stakeholders, a report describing the outputs has been available to the public routinely. In addition to the three USDA-classified tier 1 reportable foreign animal diseases (FAD) of swine, African swine fever (ASF), classical swine fever, and foot-and-mouth disease, which represent the main content, reports for significant changes in the epidemiological situation of production diseases such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome or Aujeszky's disease, have been included.

The project has been successful in identifying and communicating a number of potential threats to the swine industry. In particular, the project came in time to collaborate with relevant stakeholders in collecting, organizing, critically reviewing, and communicating the expansion of ASF through Asia and Europe.

Since the inception of the project and through April 2020, 44 reports have been produced (monthly, bimonthly, and emergency), which represents a higher frequency compared to the initial project design, mainly in response to the ASF expansion in Asia and Europe. Currently, the three USDA-classified tier 1 reportable FADs of swine are included in the report, and comments regarding diseases listed in the SHIC matrix are also included when appropriate, considering the epidemiological context of the event. New sections have been included in the report, in which specific topics are developed in-depth to provide context and interpretation of the monthly events.

As the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, SHIC 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 psundberg@swinehealth.org.