PRRS and swine fever remain top US swine disease concerns

As part of its March 2020 Newsletter, the Swine Health Information Center has released its monthly Domestic and Global Swine Disease Monitoring Reports. SHIC Executive Director Dr Paul Sundberg says PRRS and African swine fever remain top of mind.

"Domestically there's no doubt that the major disease of interest that causes the biggest economic impact for pork producers in this country is PRRS.

"The cases in February were down from January. The thing that is concerning though is that there is increased genetic variability in the PRRS isolates that we're seeing and so that's something that we've got to keep an eye on.

"Anybody that's had any experience with the PRRS virus knows that different strains can cause different levels of problems and so one of the things we're doing is monitoring for that change in the genetics of the PRRS virus so we can identify it as quickly as possible and help people with that.

"Of course in international disease monitoring, the disease of interest right now is African swine fever and the continued activity of that virus in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, including the Philippines is continuing to be a concern.

"Any time that we have that virus on the move the way that it's been for the last 18 to 24 months, increases our risk of importing that virus into the US, into Canada and that's something that we're trying to monitor to try to help us understand the specific areas of risk that we might be able to target that will help us decrease the opportunity for the virus to get into the country."