I was in a discussion with a fellow veterinarian the other day and he relayed his experience while doing a herd health check at a local dairy. At the end of the visit, the dairyman told him that his family was quarantined because his daughter had been exposed to COVID-19. This started a very interesting conversation and got me thinking about what a Dairy should stop doing during these times.
My conclusion was they should keep milking, breeding, feeding, and continue with the necessary daily routines on a dairy. In fact, once again the challenge is to become even more efficient.
There was one thing that stuck in my mind. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to do a better job of Biosecurity. Why biosecurity now? Because, right now we are all getting a reality check about a disease that possibly spread from an animal to a human… and then human to human. The thing to remember is that transmission goes both ways. I have seen my fair share of human to bovine transmissions - especially in calves. Some of the common diseases I have seen are giardia, salmonella, ringworm, cryptosporidium, and E Coli. In this case it isn't what should they stop doing, but rather what can they start doing.
What can you do?
Biosecurity is simple enough. You can prevent transmission by wearing protective gear and washing your hands after going to the restroom. Washington State University published a good brochure you can give to your workers.
I am reminded of Locard’s Principle of Forensic Science which states that no one can enter or leave a room, without taking something from it or leaving something behind. Bacteria and viruses do not have legs. They travel on or within us.