Tommy Harwood contemplates impact of China’s coronavirus outbreak on U.S. agriculture

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Farming expert Tommy Harwood considers the potential impact of China’s human coronavirus outbreak on agriculture in the U.S.


As the ongoing Chinese coronavirus outbreak continues, Tommy Harwood, a farming expert and entrepreneur from Humboldt County, California, considers the potential impact on U.S. agriculture and calls for individuals in the industry, veterinarians, and healthcare professionals alike to take a cooperative approach to preventing further spread of the virus.


First identified after people developed pneumonia without a clear cause, and for which existing treatments were not effective, the current human coronavirus outbreak has been traced back to wild animals sold for food at a so-called wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.


Further to the human health risk from the rapidly spreading virus, the outbreak could also have a significant impact on U.S. agriculture, according to farming expert Tommy Harwood. “Although the virus has spread from wild animals to humans, it’s important to remember that coronavirus could transfer from one source or another directly to animals in agriculture,” he warns, “where viruses such as these are significantly amplified.” 


Thankfully, Harwood says that no evidence of any such transfer exists for now in relation to the current coronavirus outbreak. “It is, however, vital that those in the agricultural community, veterinarians, and others who care for animals in farming remain alert at all times, particularly in light of the current human coronavirus outbreak,” adds the California-based entrepreneur and farming expert.


Tommy Harwood also advises following increased biosecurity measures until further notice. “As with the emergence of any novel virus, it’s important to pay particular attention to existing biosecurity measures, and to implement additional or increased measures where appropriate, in order to best protect any livestock,” he says.


Harwood is further keen to champion additional cooperation between those in the human health field and professionals in the world of agricultural health. “This could be critical,” suggests the expert, “in limiting the spread of the ongoing human coronavirus outbreak originating in China, and to preventing or reducing the spread of any future outbreaks.” 


“Between healthcare professionals, veterinarians, and individuals in a variety of agricultural industries, we should, I believe, approach the outbreak of any virus in a cooperative and collaborative manner, both locally and nationally, as well as globally, to maintain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment alike,” adds Harwood, wrapping up.