PennVet Uses GIS to Identify Disease Hot Spots

Caitlin Dempsey


Dr. Meghann Pierdon with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine has developed a secure website that uses GIS to map out the incident of diseases among pigs or birds.  

Updated quarterly, the map highlights current and emerging disease hot spots as well as areas that may be at risk.  The map provides disease status detail about 542 swine farms which represents about 90% of the state’s domestic pig population.  

The map, hosted by pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, is also updated by swine veterinarians.  Poultry data comes in from the lab system.  The map then uses GIS to pinpoint disease locations by farm.  

When outbreaks occur, program members are notified so that preventative measures such as not traveling from an infected farm to a non-infected farm, can be undertaken.  Pierdon also collects data from neighboring Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey.

Dr. Meghann Pierdon uses GIS to identify disease hotspots among Pennsylvania's pig and poultry.
Dr. Meghann Pierdon uses GIS to identify disease hotspots among Pennsylvania’s pig and poultry farms.



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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.

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