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Volume 12, Number 2—February 2006


Detecting Emerging Diseases in Farm Animals through Clinical Observations

Gwenaël Vourc'h*, Victoria E. Bridges†, Jane Gibbens‡, Brad D. De Groot§, Lachlan McIntyre¶, Roger Poland#, and Jacques Barnouin*
Author affiliations: *Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Theix, France; †US Department of Agriculture, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA; ‡Defra, London, United Kingdom; §Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA; ¶EpiCentre, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand; #Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Wellington, New Zealand

Main Article

Table 2

Comparison of 3 information systems to analyze animal disease through clinical observations*

VetPAD RSVP-A "émergences"
General information
Country of origin New Zealand United States France (available in French, Spanish, English)
Species targeted/ where applied Farm animals/dairy cattle Cattle/cattle Domestic animals/cattle
Means of recording Pocket PC Palm device, PC with Internet, wireless microbrowser PC with Internet, cell phone
Pilot tests 7 veterinarians in New Zealand, 2004–2005 1) 17 veterinarians in Kansas,  2003–2006; 2) 10 veterinarians in New Mexico, 2005–2006 1) 12 veterinarians in France, 2003; 2) 30 veterinarians in 2 French counties, 2005–2007
Type of clinical data Syndromic surveillance: all clinical cases Syndromic surveillance: 6 syndromes (see text) Atypical syndromes and customized targeted diseases, record of the absence of cases
Main epidemiologic data Farm localization and ownership, number affected, dead, and at risk Type of farm, production stage, localization, number affected, dead, and at risk Type of farm, production stage, localization, contact with other animals, number affected, dead, and at risk
Main data related to the disease Clinical syndrome/specific clinical diagnosis Type of syndrome, some additional clinical observation Reasons for notification, main clinical characteristics
Type of data field Pick-up lists, check boxes, free text fields Pick-up lists, check boxes, free text fields Pick-up lists, check boxes, free text fields
Other record Photos Photos, epidemiologic questionnaires
Related to epidemiologic surveillance Analysis and reporting at the practitioner, regional, and national levels Incident pattern reports from coverage areas defined by practitioners, maps Practice statistics, statistics with all reported cases, access to all reports
Other outputs Visit management, list of remedies, printouts for clients (wireless technology)
Further technical developments
GPS capability, linkage of clinical to laboratory diagnosis, barcode scanning GPS capability Implementation of anatomo-pathology and laboratory analyses

*VetPAD, Veterinary Practitioner Aided Disease; RSVP-A, Rapid Syndrome Validation Project – Animal; "émergences," information system in France; PC, personal computer; GPS, global positioning system.

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