Farmscape for May 19, 2023
Kansas State University is revaluating the risk of transmission, establishment and spread of Japanese encephalitis virus into the United States.
In response to an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis virus in Australia in early 2022 Kansas State University, on behalf of the Swine Health Information Center, is reassessing the risk of introduction and establishment of the virus in the U.S.
SHIC Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg notes the initial risk assessment for JEV was done in 2018.
Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
That initial risk assessment said that the risk of introduction of JEV into the U.S. is high.
The risk of establishment into the U.S. is negligible so it's likely from that first look they concluded that the risk of JEV coming into the country was high but it probably wouldn't be established and wouldn't stay here.
The reason they concluded that is that they assumed that our pigs don't have contact with mosquitos.
The most likely way of introduction of JEV into North America is through mosquitos.
It's not unlike West Nile virus that was introduced into North America in 1999.
It came in on an airplane that had mosquitos on it.
They concluded that the likelihood of that happening and JEV coming from Australia was very high but it wasn't going to be established because those mosquitos don't have access to pigs.
We pointed out, after we learned of the outbreak in Australia and reviewing their risk assessment, that the risk assessment needed to be updated.
It needed to be enhanced or improved because mosquitos have access to pigs and we've got to make sure that we are looking with a practical eye about all of the risks of this virus becoming established.
Dr. Sundberg says, as the reassessment proceeds, updates will be provided for preparedness and prevention to protect the U.S. swine herd from JEV.
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