The spread of the deadly porcine epidemic diarrhea virus originating from China is emerging in at least 17 states of the United States.
Researchers at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech isolated the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) from outbreaks that are currently taking place in Minnesota and Iowa. This deadly virus originates from the Anhui providence in China.
Discovery of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus
Recognition of this virus took place in the United States in May of 2013; it is responsible for a high mortality rate in piglets. According to Dr. X. J. Meng, University Distinguished Professor of Molecular Virology,
“The virus typically only affects nursery pigs and has many similarities with transmissible gastroenteritis virus of swine. There is currently no vaccine against porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in the United States. Although some vaccines are in use in Asia, we do not know whether they would work against the U.S. strains of the virus.”
The spread of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and public health
The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus belongs to the coronavirus family. It is responsible for an expanding public health and economic concern, particularly in the United States. Presently, researchers have determined that there is no evidence of the PEDV possibly spreading to humans or a potential food safety threat. Nonetheless, there is confirmation that the PEDV shares genetic features with the bat coronavirus and a cross-species transmission could take place.
The virus normally spreads through the fecal-oral route; however, researchers have not ruled out other transmission paths. The symptoms of this disease are high death rates for piglets 10 days old or younger, watery diarrhea, anorexia, and acute vomiting. According to Dr. Meng, since there is a lack of vaccines in the U.S., preventing this disease requires good sanitation and stringent biosecurity practices on farms, as well as recognizing the symptoms of this deadly disease.
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