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Pathogens and Prevention

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Expert opinion

Staying vigilant against diseases

We are living in an unprecedented time. The world is on high alert at the moment because of the outbreak of a novel virus. Covid-19, or coronavirus, is on everyone’s mind and has had a severe impact on the daily lives of many people, mine included.

I have never needed to think twice about stepping outside my home or whom I am in contact with, but now these actions have the potential risk of infecting me or members of my family with the virus. Precautionary measures have been advised to protect yourself and others around you; self-quarantine, avoiding contact with anyone showing cold or flu-like symptoms, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and washing your hands often, to name a few.

Humanity is now in a situation where livestock producers have been for many years. The awareness of pathogens and the need to prevent them from entering our ‘system’ is all too present. In order to eradicate pathogens, vaccines and especially antibiotics play a pivotal role. However, the need to reduce antibiotics in animal production has made it necessary to come up with viable alternatives. Having biosecurity measures is also vital in preventing the spread of disease but are meaningless if they are not followed correctly or even at all. In this Pathogens and Prevention special we share the latest insights in coping with disease challenges using management, health strategies, interventions and implementing biosecurity protocols. Enjoy reading and above all stay safe!