The hot topic at World Pork Expo this year is Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV), a virus that was first identified in a 2400-sow unit on May 29. So far, we haven’t heard any concrete numbers on death loss, but we do know 103 sites are confirmed to have the virus, as of today. The breakout by state is as follows: Colorado – 7; Illinois – 2; Michigan – 1; Missouri – 2; Iowa – 62; Indiana – 7; Minnesota – 15; Nebraska – 1; Ohio – 4; Oklahoma – 1; and South Dakota – 1.
According to Dr. Greg Stevenson, DVM, with the Iowa State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Ames, Iowa, the viral particles were consistent with a coronavirus. “Knowing that, we began to have a feeling what it was,” he says. At that point, technicians were able to get the virus sequenced. “The complete sequence was 99.6 homologous with the virus in China, so we know that’s where it originally came from.”
How it got here or how it spread remain a mystery, however. “We have a person who is collating data from numerous locations,” continues Stevenson. “We don’t know when any given farm broke – we only know when producers sent samples.”
After it was determined what kind of virus they were working with, Stevenson says they went back to samples sent in from producers earlier this year who thought they had TGE. The earliest they can find samples positive to this particular virus is April 29, so it is a fairly condensed timeframe. Stevenson says his lab has tested more than 800 samples.
Dr. Tom Burkgren, DVM, executive director of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, has coordinated much of the effort related to PEDV. “We’re looking for information about the herds and are identifying the risk factors. We’re leaving no stone unturned,” he says. “We’re looking at how it got here, how to minimize the lateral spread and whether we can control and eradicate the virus.”
Dr. Lisa Ferguson, Deputy Director for Science and Technology for USDA APHIS Veterinary Services National Animal Health Policy and Programs says her department wants to “be collaborative and offer assistance.”
This is not a reportable foreign animal disease, and it shouldn’t affect trade, she adds. “We’re providing information to our trading partners, specifically the EU and Canada. Our interest is in determining how it hot here and how it is spreading.'
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