NAHRS - Disease Reporting Criteria and Related Topics

Participating States should report the confirmed presence of diseases in their State using the reporting criteria that are defined in the NAHRS Operation Manual and Uniform Methods & Rules (pdf, 373kb). Reporting criteria are also shown in the NAHRS online reporting form; when the cursor is moved over the disease number on the monthly report form, a pop-up displays the reporting criteria for that disease.

Participants should indicate yes ('Y') or no ('N') for each disease on the NAHRS reportable disease list. A ‘yes' response indicates that at least one case of that particular disease was confirmed during the specific month; a “no” response indicates that, as far as State animal health officials are aware, no new cases of disease were confirmed in the State during the specific month. A ‘N' report for an endemic disease means no confirmed positive information was available, not that the disease does not occur in the State. Confirmed occurrences of NAHRS reportable diseases are those diseases that meet NAHRS reporting criteria and/or are confirmed by using additional information (i.e., other testing methods or additional epidemiological information.)

If a case fits the definitive reporting criteria, it must be reported in the NAHRS monthly report. State animal health officials may use additional information to decide whether or not to report the presence of confirmed disease to the NAHRS (i.e., epidemiologic information or other laboratory tests). If a disease meets the presumptive level of diagnostics but was not tested at the definitive level, State animal health officials should use their discretion to decide if the case is a valid case that should be reported to NAHRS. The State chief animal health official makes the final determination on data reported to NAHRS for their State.

State animal health officials are encouraged to use information from as many verifiable sources as possible to complete their monthly NAHRS reports. This may include information from State or University animal disease diagnostic laboratories, private or industry laboratories, private veterinarians, State fish or wildlife agencies, extension veterinarians, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL), National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), public health agencies, and other reliable sources.

Although participation in NAHRS is voluntary, participants need to report on ALL listed diseases for livestock, poultry, and aquaculture species in their State.

Endemic Diseases
For endemic diseases that may have both a presumptive and definitive level of confirmation, States are encouraged to report a case if it meets presumptive criteria and available information indicates that it is a reportable case. As with all NAHRS reportable diseases, endemic diseases are reported only when there is a confirmed case of the disease in a State. A “no” response, in relation to an endemic disease, indicates that, from available information, there were no reports of confirmed disease presence; a “no” does not explicitly infer the endemic disease does not occur in the State.

Disease in Wildlife or Feral Animals
The focus of NAHRS is on disease occurrences in livestock, poultry, and aquaculture. Disease information on wildlife or feral species may be reported to NAHRS and is encouraged, but reporting officials should clearly state in the comments section that the disease reporting is related to wildlife or feral species.

Adding Comments
To the extent possible, comments should be included that describe the level of laboratory diagnosis for positive occurrences (e.g., AGID, paired sera, etc.,) or that clarify reporting (e.g., backyard poultry, wild species, or feral).

Insufficient Information at the Time of Reporting
Disease occurrence should be reported when it is confirmed. Occasionally, information on disease occurrence is not available at the time a NAHRS monthly report is submitted. Submitted reports can be updated with new information by contacting the NAHRS coordinator.

Information submitted by States as part of NAHRS monthly reporting is strictly confidential. Monthly State NAHRS reports may only be accessed by authorized animal health officials from the submitting State and a small number of designated USDA APHIS Veterinary Services staff who are directly involved in coordinating the NAHRS program and validating NAHRS information. NAHRS provides only national summary reports on disease presence for the U.S. No individual owner or animal location information is submitted. More on NAHRS data confidentiality.

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