There’s no question Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) has decimated the nation’s hog herd. As many as 8 million pigs have been killed since the highly-contagious disease was first identified last April and another 2.5 million could be killed by PEDv between July 2014 and July 2015.   

Even with biosecurity measures tighter than ever and tools emerging to help producers keep PEDv at bay, Dustin Oedekoven, a veterinarian with South Dakota State, explained in this Tri-State Neighbor article the jury is still out on progress against the virus.

“Last year, we saw the number of cases rise rapidly in the fall and winter months because of the biology of this virus, which seems to prefer cool and wet conditions,” he wrote. “Time will tell whether the federal order will have any effect on controlling the spread of this disease.”

He added, “Perhaps one of the most important things we have been reminded of since the finding of PEDV in North America is that we must remain vigilant in detecting, reporting and responding to foreign and emerging infectious disease. We are fortunate to live in a time when the status of livestock herd health is at an all-time high. Domestic and international markets for animal protein are strong, in part because of our healthy and productive herds.”

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As much progress as the industry has made in learning more and combating PEDv over the last year, it’s too soon to relax. South Dakota State University Extension Swine Specialist Dr. Bob Thaler explained in an interview with WNAX Radio 570 producers should be mindful that vaccines may help but likely won't completely eradicate the disease.

 “The vaccines aren’t 100 percent effective,” Thaler said in an interview here. “If your herd had PEDv before and you get your sows the vaccination, it will help. If you have a naïve herd and you vaccinate and expose your herd to the virus, you’re still going to have a major blow up of PEDv.”

Read, “Keep a tight grip on PEDv biosecurity”