VSV Keeps Moving

An updated VSV Situation Report is available at USDA APHIS VS page:

  • Since the start of the outbreak, two hundred seventy-nine (279) VSV-affected premises (New Jersey serotype) have been identified and quarantined in 7 states (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming).
  • As of last week, there are 140 affected premises remaining under quarantine in 5 states (Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming).

Fortunately here in AZ we are still without VSV cases.

What I do hear about frequently in the these days from my equine practitioner colleagues is the never-ending colics and laminitis war stories. It’s a harsh environment out there this time of year. Please stay alert and attentive.

VSV Update 5-Aug-2015

Arizona currently has no VSV activity!

The last suspect case was confirmed NEGATIVE on July 27 and the Administrative Order imposing a quarantine on the livestock on the premises subsequently rescinded.

In the last few weeks we, with the help of several veterinary practitioners, have investigated several lesioned-animals. None have met definition for VSV-related quarantine.

I’m very happy to announce that currently we have nothing under VSV-quarantine and currently no cases under investigation!

Unfortunately other states do continue to deal with VSV. SD is the most recent to have confirmed its presence.

National VSV Data can be found on USDA APHIS’ website.

VSV Continues to Spread in the West

The State Veterinarian of WY announced last evening their first case of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV). The affected horse was at Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) for five days as a contract act horse before lesions were found.

This horse was not stalled with or near any contestant horses. The horse was quarantined and sent back to its Wyoming origin to be held in isolation away from all other livestock. No other symptomatic or clinical animals have been identified or reported.

This week’s National VSV Situation Report has details.

VSV – Almost Over in AZ?

I wish I could say we were done with VSV in AZ. But that’s not something I can say. This week we issued another Administrative Order quarantining another facility due to suspicious lesions. We are awaiting results from the lab. But as you probably are guessing, those results won’t be available until sometime next week.

Please continue to be vigilant. And patient.

It seems the current hot zone for VSV has moved into CO. Currently counties now with infected premises include: Delta, Larimer (new), Las Animas (new), Montezuma, and Montrose.

Maps and current national reports of the VSV situation

USDA Scrapie Report

For those of you with interests in sheep and goats, the May 2015 Report of the National Scrapie Eradication Program was posted recently.

Some specific points:

  • Thirty two positive cases, 30 sheep and 2 goats, have been reported in FY 2015. (That’s the federal govt fiscal year which begins Oct 1.)
  • Twenty six of the positive sheep were from the same source flock.
  • As of May 31, 2015, 26,894 animals have been sampled for scrapie testing in FY 2015

There are also several maps in the report.

HPAI This Week

USDA now has mapping of the HPAI epidemic available on the web. The states are color-coded temporally – different colors representing days since last positive detection.

Also if you mouse over any state, a text box will pop up showing the number of confirmed reports in that state along with the exact number of days since the last positive was reported.

World Pork Expo-More Than Just A Show

After becoming a subscribee to the Pork Checkoff magazine, I received an advertisement via email for the world pork expo. I brushed it off thinking it would not help me much in my position as your AZDA-PEDV outreach staff member.

Well about 7 days prior to the meeting I received another offer to get the app on my phone. So, intrigued by the offer, I looked into it a little more and much to my surprise, there was a whole lot more to this expo than what I thought. I requested to be a part of this experience and was not let down by the educational pieces this expo provided.

Some of the classes I attended reiterated the same information we’ve been hearing for the last year; such as the way PEDV entered into the US is still unknown, 100% mortality rate in piglets from birth to approximately 7 days and the rapid spread through the US was via livestock trailers.

However, presenters mentioned why we are seeing a decrease is largely in part due to understanding the means of transmission, research on disinfectants, additional truck washes, feed changes and herd immunity.

The better news was hearing about the effectiveness of the Harris Vaccine aka rapid response (RP) prescription vaccines. These are DIVA (Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals) compatible. They initiate humoral and cellular immune response and are a multivalent vaccine (customized vaccination to what is currently going on in herd). The vaccination has a rapid response hence the reason for prescription because they will need heavy monitoring and the vaccine can be made herd specific in 6-8 weeks.

Dr. M.T. Rodibaugh (a presenter) discussed a study that’s being conducted on 6 different US herds they couldn’t get cleaned up from PEDV. During his time of trying to get it cleaned up, they discovered passive iatrogenic immunity passed via milk was not permanent and gut to mammary secretory IgA axis carried immunity to more distant sites. He stated prior to the Harris Vaccination, they were weaning approximately 2.4% and had approximately a 78.3% mortality rate. After the Harris Vaccine given 7-10 days pre farrow, they increased the amount of piglets in weaning to 10.3 % and a huge decrease to 10.8% mortality rate. There was a mention of Harris vaccine vs. the Zoetis vaccine and it was said they both had a good response, however Harris appeared to present a higher yield of immunity after only 1 vaccination.

Another speaker Dr. Dante J. Palabrica from the Philippines discussed a Harris vaccine study conducted on a >200,000 pig farm where their process is farm to fork meaning they breed, raise and slaughter their own. He discussed their rigorous biosecurity measures that also included banning their workers from eating pork meat products, color coded uniforms and slippers for individual units, and he still had large amounts of losses from his herd until they started utilizing the Harris Vaccine. His comment was post vaccinations with the Harris Vaccines, they saw higher antibodies in the colostrum and a huge decrease in mortality rates.

On a different note, the Swine Health Information Center presented on a new defense for the industry and primarily hit home on preparedness since the pathway of induction for PEDV to the US is still unknown, he advised we should be prepared for the next disease to hit because it is coming (look at Avian Influenza). There was emphasis placed on the farmers understanding that USDA alone cannot respond to emerging diseases and the industry needs to take more responsibility for non-regulatory diseases. There needs to be better state-federal-industry response coordination as this is essential to combating many of upcoming diseases. There was also discussion about funding that is currently being set aside to create a liaison group between farmers and government to protect personal information from public record.

One of the last classes I attended was one on planning for an emergency mass-depopulation of swine in response to a foreign animal disease outbreak. The discussion was primarily focusing on an in ground pit or dump truck as a means of a chamber and using CO2 gas to induce mass humane euthanasia because of its anesthetic properties, availability, cost and ease of use. One concern they addressed is temperature of the gas and methods to decrease pressure at a low cost which entailed an enclosed propane take with a heat source, specific valves, cinder blocks and +/- a reservoir bag. The methodology was presented in detail and quite lengthy but, it is quite doable in the event we should have to succumb to these circumstances.

In conclusion, the World Pork Expo is far more than a show with multiple pork industry exhibitors. There was definitely something to be learned by a multitude of individuals and if that wasn’t enough; the scenery was fantastic and the free all-you-can-eat barbecue pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, BACON and all the fixin’s, I would hope entice you for a visit to learn more about current happenings in the swine industry next year.

HPAI Traces From IA Into AZ

For those of you who are wondering about the situation concerning poultry shipments into AZ, here’s the latest information on the poultry and game bird chicks and eggs shipped from an IA farm which later broke with HPAI.

The Mohave County birds all tested negative for HPAI and Newcastle disease (another bird disease which is very similar to avian influenza for which we monitor) on initial testing. Virus isolation tests are being conducted to ensure no latent infection is present. This will take a few weeks. Rarely will samples that are negative on screening tests show a positive result on virus isolation, but it is possible.  So these results are helpful and encouraging, but not yet final.

The eggs which were shipped to Santa Cruz County were taken from Arizona to Mexico.

The eggs which were shipped to Yavapai County were seized per statutory authorities provided under ARS §§ 3-1203 et seq and subsequently destroyed.

The owner of the chicks shipped to Pinal County opted for USDA indemnification. Those birds and other birds living in that coop were humanely euthanized. Other birds on the premises are being tested.

All quarantines remain in place until the state vet is satisfied there is no threat to the poultry industries in the state.

The spread of HPAI does seem to be slowing in the upper midwest. But please continue to be vigilant and exercise caution when you consider buying birds or hatching eggs.

VSV Dwindling

Our Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) outbreak continues to dwindle (hopefully away soon.)

At this time we have one quarantine in place in central Arizona in the vicinity of the Verde River. We also have one now near the Salt River in Mesa, not too very far from one of the earliest positives.

We have had much fewer reports over the last several weeks. But it seems we are not past this outbreak just yet. I’ll also add just a word of caution, the folks in TX and NM have also had a couple more cases show up in the last week.