Delaware Valley University Students Participate in USDA Mock Disease Outbreak Scenario
May 09, 2019
In March 2019, Delaware Valley University students in the animal science, small animal science, secondary education, biology, and conservation and wildlife management majors participated in a mock disease outbreak scenario in conjunction with students from the University of Pennsylvania veterinary school.
One of the attending veterinary students was DelVal alumna Brooke Kitting '18.
The event was coordinated by the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and DelVal faculty and staff from the Department of Animal Science and the Department of Animal Biotechnology and Conservation.
The students were given an overview of the findings at the farm and had the opportunity to ask questions of Farm Manager Natalie Crooke and Assistant Farm Manager Jonathan Carey.
Student participants then went to the farm and were instructed in proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which they wore for the on-farm part of the exercise. They conducted physical exams of sheep and examined the premises and “findings” posted around the farm.
The day ended with lunch and a discussion of the examinations to explore the differential diagnoses the disease findings could indicate. The definitive diagnosis was Rift Valley fever (RVF) which is a foreign animal disease that can be zoonotic (transmitted to humans) and also poses risks to wildlife.
Students ended the day by discussing prevention, quarantine measures, personnel safety measures and treatment of diseases.
Students participants included included: Tarrah Freund, Piper Van Muylwyk , Savannah Martin, Samantha Angelella, Meredith Mayer, Megan McGee, Madison Eller, Lauren McCarty, Lauren Helms, Kyle Cappo, Katie Parker, Jessica Topka, Jackson Miller, Emily Cullen, Crystal Curcio, Carly Swirsding, Amanda Ayers, Amy Enevoldsen, Amanda Moore, and Nicholas Joswick.
In addition to the farm managers, DelVal faculty members including Dr. Bill Fritz, Dr. Kim Reichner, Dr. Elisa Bobrin, and Dr. Pamela Reed worked with DelVal Dean of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Dr. Broc Sandelin to assist during the day. DelVal faculty members Dr. Jennifer Shelly and Dr. Bruce Richards helped with planning the scenario with DelVal Trustee and alumna Dr. Linda Detwiler '80, of the USDA.