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One of my big life lessons has been that there can be lessons everywhere if we chose to open our eyes and ears. I like reading about different businesses and problem-solving in different sectors. It opens your mind to new ideas and new ways of thinking.

Right now we are all learning and some even believe themselves experts in epidemiology. To massively oversimplify this. Epidemiology is the study of how disease spreads in a population.

In farming we all know in disease outbreaks the need for isolation, reducing the spread and testing the population to check for disease.

Infectious disease spread 

With an infectious disease outbreak, we must limit the spread. There are a couple of key things in this process

  • Identify a disease early through clinical symptoms and testing
  • Have some knowledge about how it spreads to reduce the risk to other animals
  • In the early stages of disease look at isolating infected animals to prevent the spread
  • Assess risk factors that allowed the disease to overcome immunity
  • Start testing the infected animals and cohorts for evidence of the disease
  • Create a long term control plan usually involving vaccination where they are available.
  • With some diseases continue testing with a close eye kept on sensitivity and specificity of any tests used.


So at the moment, we are all learning some lessons about disease spread. With #50in50 it was one of my intentions to capture people’s attention and promote the idea of prevention over cure.

One valuable lesson for our farms and infectious disease spread is the idea of incorporating good hygiene practices to prevent spread.

We are learning how important a simple task like washing our hands is.

There are also some very simple good hygiene practices we can deploy on the farm to stop the spread of disease.

Immunity versus infection pressure 

With infectious disease, we must always think about immunity and infection pressure.

In a disease outbreak what is immunity like and how can we bolster it. There are so many factors in good immunity on farm. From feeding, minerals, colostrum, and good vaccination strategies to name but a few. You here me constantly talk about stress in farm animals and minimizing it. Stressful events lower immunity and that is where I believe optimizing biology in farming systems is so important watch here for more information https://youtu.be/lwuPkGqslmU

We also look at infection pressure, in really simple terms the level of infection (bacteria, viruses) animals may be exposed too.

With good hygiene protocols being so important in disease spread I cover some of the why? Behind good hygiene on farm in the video above

Thought for the day

There are lessons to be learned all around us. If you want to pick up any bug, get the learning bug this year.


Huge thanks to Nettex, Progiene, and Rumenco for their support in making #50in50 happen

Coxicur broad-spectrum disinfectant, effective against viruses, bacteria, moulds, and yeast.






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