Question 1: Would it have helped stop PED spreading if suspected cases had been reported in real-time?
Answer: YES! "The sooner a disease is found before it makes progress along the epidemic curve, the better."
Question 2: Would it have helped stop PED spreading if it had been possible to map suspected and confirmed cases in real-time?
Answer: YES! "Knowing how fast a disease is spreading, in which directions it is going and the size of the populations threatened are all key factors in resource mobilization."
(The above answers are taken from the FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of US Manual on Livestock Disease Surveillance and Information Systems)
Question 3. Could Farm Health Monitor have helped contain the US PED outbreak?
Answer: YES! "The capacity for prediction of spread of diseases to new areas is essential for containment and control." (World Health Organization 2013)
At the farm immediately following the visit veterinarians load information about a disease/syndrome via 4 simple dropdown boxes on a mobile phone APP.
The information immediately loads into a database that displays the information on an interactive map or spreadsheet.
Information is added by the reporting veterinarians as the case unfolds and moves from suspect to confirmed or clear.
The information is shared amongst veterinarians across the country without disclosing identifying information.
Veterinarians and industry associations use the information to help producers government and industry control disease spread.
No producer-identifying information is revealed. Mapped locations appear within a postcode area and do not reveal specific farm locations – no specific GPS coordinates or address details are disclosed.
We've created a simple step towards preventing disease spread
It looks like a simple dropdown box BUT...our dropdown boxes are smart. They learn your habits and anticipate your selection! The more you report a disease the nearer the top of the drop down list it moves saving minutes of scrolling.
Also to save time you can simply type in key letters. Looking for coccidiosis?
Type in simply type in “io” and it will appear on your screen along with other diseases containing those letters – such as bovine genital campylobacteriosis.
Our system allows the veterinarians to add diseases they see in the field that we may have missed in our database of over 250 common diseases of farmed livestock and poultry.
When you add a disease the system accepts it and then it is verified at a later date and added into our database. So just because you don’t see the disease in the list doesn’t mean you can’t report it.
In a suspected disease outbreak client confidentiality is paramount. Farm Health Monitor is a disease movement surveillance system and is therefore location accurate recording exact GPS coordinates of where a disease is reported from.
We can't display this information on a map for the world to see so we found a very clever solution. When a disease is reported the system looks at the GPS coordinates and matches them to a postcode/zipcode. What you see on the map is the highlighted postcode area of where the disease was reported from.
Multiple outbreaks in the same postcode 'stack' neatly in chronological order so that the 'break' movement can be analyzed extremely accurately with overlays of information such as weather, temperature, wind speeds and humidity data all of which may be impacting spread.
The Farm Health Monitor team is comprised of a consortium of content experts in farm disease management, data management and analysis and 'smart' systems development.
Our technical Board and field team are livestock sector professionals with years of hands on experience in livestock production, facility design, disease management and epidemiology.
We are passionate about stopping disease spread. Our mantra is Observe and Prevent.
Guelph, ON Canada