Farmscape for December 4, 2023
Animal Health officials in the U.S. are stepping up their efforts to track Japanese encephalitis virus.
The threat of an incursion of Japanese encephalitis virus into the U.S. has prompted the USDA APHIS Veterinary Services division to offer diagnostic testing for any animals with clinical signs of the infection.
Swine Health Information Center Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg says the U.S. is considered to be at risk for the introduction of JEV.
Quote-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
The potential paths include imported mosquitoes.
We know that in 1999 West Nile virus was imported into New York through some mosquitoes that came from the mid-east.
We're concerned about the same thing happening with Japanese encephalitis virus being imported into the U.S. by mosquitoes that are carrying the virus.
That's one way.
Another way that we're concerned about that we're doing literature reviews and we're doing risk assessments on is the entry of migratory birds that may be carrying the virus subclinically.
Migratory birds, especially water fowl, could be a reservoir host for JEV and we're concerned about those entering the U.S. as they come across the Pacific and through Alaska and down the Pacific flyway.
One of the things that we know is that these mosquitoes that can transmit and can carry JEV in Australia, we know that from the experience in Australia, we have the same type of mosquitoes here in the U.S.
We have competent vectors, we have competent hosts in our pigs and we want to make sure that we understand all the risks and the ways that we can interdict in those risks to keep that infection out of the U.S.
Dr. Sundberg notes further information on Japanese encephalitis, including available resources can be accessed through SHIC's web site at swinehealth.org.
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