A very contagious pig virus is increasing across the nation’s farm belt. Specifically, the pig virus is the deadly Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus, according to a Reuters report on Friday.
For the week ending last week, on March 1, the number of confirmed cases of the PED virus rose by 252. Quite incredibly, that brought the total number of PED virus cases to 4,106 in 26 states. Those statistics come directly from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Laboratory Network. Statistics also estimate that the PED virus has killed more than 4 million hogs in the United States since last May when it was initially discovered.
Logically, pork processors have been finding it increasingly difficult to purchase hogs for slaughter due to the disease. Economically, the situation is expected to increase the prices of pork for customers throughout the country because the supply is being greatly negatively affected.
The PED virus has also reached Canada, as the Canadian Swine Health Board confirms four provinces – Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, and Manitoba – have had cases.
The virus causes vomiting and severe dehydration as well as the diarrhea in pigs. Older pigs have the best chance of surviving the disease, but piglets that have it die at the rate of 80 percent to 100 percent.
Fortunately, it is not a food safety risk as the virus does not affect people.