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Veterinarians, Physicians, Epidemiologists, Communication Specialists Encouraged to Work Together to Prevent Strep zoo
Dr. Gus Brihn - USDA APHIS

Farmscape for December 7, 2023

A veterinary medical officer with USDA APHIS is encouraging veterinarians, physicians, epidemiologists and communication specialists to work together to better understand and prevent outbreaks of Streptococcus zooepidemicus.
Streptococcus zooepidemicus was the focus of a Swine Health Information Center and American Association of Swine Veterinarians webinar last week.
Dr. Gus Brihn, a veterinary medical officer in the office of one health coordination with the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, explains Strep zoo is one of several Streptococcus species and is one that's considered zoonotic, meaning it can infect humans as well as several animal species including swine, horses, dogs, cattle, guinea pigs, sheep, monkeys and mink.

Quote-Dr. Gus Brihn-USDA APHIS:
As Strep zoo causes sporadic cases among humans it should be noted that outbreaks can occur so, when considering infection control and prevention for Strep zoo, it's really back to the basics.
You want to think of good personal hygiene, the use of personal protective equipment when working with sick animals.
Pasteurization does destroy Strep zoo an in outbreaks linked to raw milk products, pasteurization has been required.
Additionally, stress factors, such as mixing animals in the presence of other sick animals and transport, appears to exacerbate outbreaks.
When we're thinking through investigations and management of Strep zoo from a zoonotic standpoint, a one health approach has shown to be very beneficial.
Veterinarians, physicians, epidemiologists, communication specialists should all work together to evaluate and understand these outbreaks.
It's not a pathogen of one species and, whether it's in humans or cross species, we need to work with our partners so we can better understand these transmissions and prevent that illness in the future.

The Swine Health Information Center and American Association of Swine Veterinarians Strep zoo webinar can be accessed through the SHIC web site at
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Bruce Cochrane.

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