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Australian JEV Outbreak Less Severe than One Year Ago

The Swine Health Information Center reports the Japanese encephalitis virus situation in Australia has eased since this time one year ago.

The Swine Health Information Center's 2022 progress report, approved by the Board of Directors last month, updates the Japanese encephalitis virus outbreak identified in Australia in January of last year.

SHIC Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg notes JEV is similar to West Nile virus, an infection that entered the U.S. in 1999 and has since spread throughout North America.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:

Through 2022 we were in regular contact with the folks in Australia, both the production folks as well as animal health regulators.That helped us put together a list of research priorities for JEV as well.It's not all just research but it's coordination priorities, it's communication priorities.

We have calls with the Australians scheduled to talk about research and coordination priorities.Currently they are in the midst of another round of very intense weather, a lot of rain.

They're in their summer even though we're in our winter, so for this year so far in this rainy season that they've had, they have had a lot of rain just like they did in January of 2022 but so far they haven't seen the breadth of outbreak in their pig herd that they saw in January 2022.

We're hopeful that there's progress there.They're doing a lot of surveillance and a lot of monitoring and they've done a lot of planning also research and we're anxious to learn their lessons and to see the progress they've made.

Dr. Sundberg says JEV is a significant virus closely related to something that is already in North America so it's important to do everything possible to prevent its introduction and, if that's not possible, to have preparations in place for a coordinated response with animal health, with production and with public health as needed.

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