The Department of Agriculture is dedicating $300 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to conduct surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 and other emerging and zoonotic diseases. The effort aimed at susceptible animals includes building an early warning system to alert public health partners to potential threats so they can take steps sooner to prevent or limit the next global pandemic.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is the lead agency responsible for implementing the early warning system. The framework outlines how the agency will focus its efforts to prevent, detect, investigate and respond to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and other emerging and zoonotic diseases that could pose a threat to both people and animals.
Establishing an early warning system will require a multi-year effort. USDA will build upon its existing infrastructure to implement a risk-based, comprehensive, integrated disease monitoring and surveillance system domestically, and enhance collaboration internationally.
The National Association of Farm Broadcasting and the American Farm Bureau Federation contributed to this report.