This is our Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.
Today, the MSHMP team is giving an update on how things are handled during the current situation.
The current coronavirus disease pandemic continues to impact lives nationally and globally. Situations are changing rapidly and we must all deal with many unknowns day by day. The security and continuation of the food production and supply chain is crucial during this time and we have no doubt that the world appreciates how important agriculture is. Producers, feed mills, slaughter plants, truck drivers, veterinarians, farm staff, supply distribution personnel, and everyone else involved in the complex swine network are in the difficult position of navigating production and supply while preventing disease spread and ensuring worker safety. Many of these essential positions do not have a the option to work remotely.
The MSHMP team is following current guidelines and policies imparted by the University of Minnesota. Within these guidelines, we have been instructed to continue working remotely with the objective of contributing to flattening the curve by reducing Coronavirus transmission. Under these circumstances, MSHMP will continue to move forward by maintaining our database, reports, and other projects. We are committed to continue providing relevant and valuable data in our disease charts and our science pages during this difficult time, both so the industry can remain aware of current health status of swine herds and to provide a sense of normalcy through these challenging times. We will continue our weekly requests of status changes but the MSHMP team understands that as the voluntarily participating companies, clinics, and regional groups address the impacts of COVID-19, providing monitoring data may move down the list of priorities. For the report readers, that might be reflected on the total number of Systems contributing to each week’s report. This number can be found on the second page of every report.
MSHMP wants to remind participating systems that we are a resource for you and are here to help provide science-based solutions. We encourage you to get in touch if you think there is a way that we may assist you. We are aware of the importance of the relationship between worker safety and business continuity. The University of Minnesota Swine Disease Eradication Center has developed a set of biosecurity recommendations for farm workers in order to prevent COVID-19. These recommendations can be found in the following links both in English and Spanish:
We hope that all of you can remain safe and healthy. You may have heard it before, please take care of yourselves physically, mentally, and socially in these times of social distancing. COVID-19 is exposing how closely tied together we all are on many levels. The MSHMP team is proud to be a part of the swine community that exists both in the United States and around the world.