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Nebraska pig virus: Young piglets are dying in the pork industry

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Nebraska pig virus: In an unsettling new report just out, the deadly pig virus has now hit 20 states in the nation with Nebraska being the latest one on the list, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Reuters reported Dec. 13 that the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) was first reported last May. Prior to that, the pig virus had never knowingly been present in the North America.

With Nebraska affected by the pig virus, there's concern that next spring and summer will see a major cut in hog supplies throughout the U.S. It makes sense since the growth of this virus is picking up speed.

The report revealed that "PEDv causes diarrhea, vomiting and severe dehydration." Hog epidemiologists have learned that it's mostly young piglets infected with the disease that die. It tends not to kill the older pigs. At the rate this virus is growing, young pigs on America's farms could go from the common 50 percent mortality rate to 100 percent.

Over 1,500 cases of the pig virus have been reported to date. This number is believed to represent thousands of infected pigs. So far PEDv has impacted the Hog Belt states -- consisting of pork producers in states like Iowa, North Carolina, Minnesota and Oklahoma.

Nebraska now gets a dose of the pig virus. It's reportedly the sixth-largest producing state of pork with 1.35 million hogs spanning "over 2,200 operations as of September 1, according to USDA data."

The pig virus is highlighting livestock transportation for the animals. Biosecurity guidelines set by the National Pork Board strongly urge transporters to disinfect, clean, and dry vehicles that are hauling pigs. There have been stricter standards enforced when it comes to the handling of animal feces by farmers and commercial transporters.

Now that Nebraska has the pig virus, hopefully it doesn't mean more states will be infected. Not only is disease an issue, but consumers can expect the price of pork to raise substantially with such an outbreak.

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