The director of swine health research with National Pork Board suggests, if the decline in PED cases continues at its current rate, the U.S. will be in a better position in 2016 to consider a national strategy for eliminating the virus.

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea was first identified in May 2013 in the U.S., the infection has since affected over 50 percent of U.S. sow herd in at least 33 different states, encompassing the majority of swine producing states, there have been cases in Canada, although not nearly as many as in the U.S., and also in Mexico.

Dr. Lisa Becton, the director of swine health research with the National Pork Board, reports the infection peaked in 2013 and 2014, and has started to decline in 2015, and the hope is that trend will continue through the rest of this year and into next year.

Clip-Dr. Lisa Becton-National Pork Board:

We've seen a lot of sow breaks early on in 2013 and 2014 because we had a completely naive herd. They'd never been exposed to this virus.

Even though we have Transmissible Gastro Enteritis or TGE in the U.S. it was not cross protective against PED and so early on a lot of our infections were really in our sow units and then we started to see a progression into nursery and finishing.

Into the tail end of 2014 and into 2015 we've seen more outbreaks in finisher sites versus sow farms.

We still have both going on, really not 100 percent certain why that change has happened.

It may be because of biosecurity on our sow farms has tightened, but it is something we are looking into.

Dr. Becton says there's been a lot of discussion about the potential for eradication, but people want to see if the caseload continues to decline through this year and into the winter. She says if that decline in cases continues, we still have immunity and other factors continue as they're going, it will put us in a better position to look at a national strategy in 2016 for eliminating the virus.

For Farmscape. Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

Click to go to story and listen to the interview.

Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council