RDI: Suspected increase in parvovirus in the North West
What is the reason for concern?
There have been recent social media reports of possible increases in parvovirus diagnosis in the NW of England.
What data have we used?
SAVSNET collects data from a sentinel network of veterinary practices that voluntarily contribute real time consultation data, and from a network of diagnostic veterinary laboratories.
Here, led by Dr PJ Noble, we have been looking at our veterinary practice data to see if there are more cases of parvovirus being recorded in SAVSNET’s network of collaborating practices.
The plot below shows all consultation records where the words ‘Parvo’ or ‘cpv’ were mentioned, excluding those where the main reason for presentation was vaccination.
Case numbers appear low and there does not appear to be an upward trend in these data as might be expected in an outbreak; we cannot however rule out more localised effects which would be lost in the noise. Note: such rapid methods will not be 100% accurate and are likely to include false positives. However, a similar approach analysing mentions of Parvo virus using topic-modelling revealed that consultations mentioning Parvo/CPV and having an unwell animal theme also showed no trend at this point.
In this graph, northwest is defined as north of 53 degrees north latitude and west of 2 degrees west. Records are plotted by week for the northwest area and for the rest of the country.
Needless to say, there is a big drop in any consult counts during the Spring 2020 lockdown.
SAVSNET can do these analyses because of the generous participation of diagnostic laboratories and veterinary practices, including the CVS Group. With Dogs Trust funding colleagues at University of Bristol, Lancaster University and University of Manchester, we are looking at how such responses could happen on a more sustainable level in the future. Please see SAVSNET-Agile for more information.
These Rapid Disease Investigations (RDI's) are currently unfunded. They are achievable because of the data kindly provided by practitioners and because of the expertise within the SAVSNET group; we will not be able to produce RDIs for every possible scenario, and the absence of an RDI should not be used to imply there is no issue. These data should not be used as proof as to the presence or absence of events. However, they can be used to inform discussions about possible changes of disease seen in practice. If you are an owner concerned about the health of your pet, then please contact your own veterinary surgeon who is best placed to offer advice.