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AASV: Speed is critical during an outbreak

24 June 2020, at 12:08am

The Rapid Response Program is a nationwide network of veterinarians, epidemiologists, state animal health officials, and federal animal health officials, who are responsible for conducting epidemiological outbreak investigations in the case of an emerging or transboundary disease outbreak.

Chelsea Ruston, a post-doc student at the Swine Medicine Education Center at Iowa State University, spoke to The Pig Site's Sarah Mikesell at AASV in Atlanta.

Chelsea Ruston, a post doc student at the Swine Medicine Education Center at Iowa State University presented an introduction for the SHIC-funded Rapid Response Program at the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) conference in Atlanta.

“My presentation explained the standardized way that they conduct these epi outbreak investigations systematically, so they don't forget anything and collect a consistent amount of information,” said Ruston. “This allows us to quickly identify and eliminate a pathogen if it enters the US."

In the event of an emerging or transboundary disease outbreak - as past events like PEDV revealed - not having a plan severely hindered the US swine industry. Thus, the Rapid Response Program was put in place to allow response teams to get on infected farms within 72 hours and not have the delay seen with PEDV.

Speed is essential to stop the spread of viruses in the swine industry because it becomes more difficult to locate the disease origin the longer it spreads. The plan allows opportunities for improvement in all areas of the industry. The Rapid Response Program has divided the country into regions so they can be available anywhere in the country within 72 hours.