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Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus outbreak now in 23 states, on some 2,400 farms

The outbreak of the deadly pig virus, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), which was first seen in the United States in April 2013, has now spread to 23 states and areas of Canada, encompassing some 2,400 farms, according to a veterinary expert from Texas A&M University in a radio interview Saturday, Jan. 25.

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus is now seen in 23 states and parts of Canada
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus is now seen in 23 states and parts of CanadaPhoto by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

In an interview on the talk radio program, Outbreak News This Week, Brandon Dominguez, DVM, Clinical Assistant Professor and Veterinarian in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Texas A&M University, discussed the current outbreak and clarified what exactly is PEDv.

Dr. Dominguez explained that PEDv is a coronavirus, similar to Transmissable Gastroenteritis virus (TGEv), another pig pathogen, which causes vomiting and diarrhea in pigs of all ages; however, in pigs less than 10 days old, the mortality rate is quite high.

In fact, Dominguez said this easily transmissible virus can have a devastating effect on naive herds affecting nearly 100 percent of the pigs.

This virus reared it ugly head in the Spring of 2013. It is endemic in parts of Europe and Asia. When asked how this virus found it's was into the United States, Dr. Dominguez said, "We don't know exactly how it got into the United States. When it came into the US, multiple farms that were a good distance apart showed up with the disease about the same time, which tend to indicate there's some common point source for the infection to start from, we just haven't figured out exactly what that was.

"And we may never be able to."

Dr. Dominguez said that PEDv is not transmissible to humans, or any other animal for that matter.

When asked about getting the outbreak under control, Dominguez said the "biggest control measure is practicing good biosecurity".

"Making sure everything that comes on to the farm is clean and disinfected prior to getting on the farm and minimizing what need to come on to the farm", he explained.

There is no vaccine for PEDv.

Although PEDv does not effect people clinically, this virus can have an economic impact on pork producers and pork prices.

Dr. Dominguez discussed the issue of biosecurity in some detail. Listen to the audio here for more information about Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus.

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