USDA announces early warning system project to detect emerging diseases

USDA is talking about its animal surveillance program that could help prevent future human pandemics stemming from diseases found in animals.

The department announced this week that it will spend $300 million dollars in COVID relief for the program. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says that up to 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases in humans originate in animals. So, it is setting up an early warning system to detect these diseases.

“What we’re hoping to do here is set up a very long-term system for protecting the country moving forward so it’s not a short-term project, but something we hope that 20 years down the road we’re still seeing benefits of this early warning system we’re setting up,” according to Dr. Mike Watson.

The research will begin with COVID but will expand to include other diseases through cooperation with other agencies in the U.S. and around the world.


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