It’s been nearly a year since Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) was first detected in the United States, and though the pace of confirmed cases is slowing, it continues to climb.

According to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, there were 247 new farms with positive tests for PEDv during the week ending March 23. Ron Plain and Scott Brown point out in their weekly “Hog Outlook” report this is the fewest since the week ending Jan. 19.

“Hopefully, new outbreaks will continue to decline as the weather warms. There are now more than 5,270 U.S. hog farms with the PED virus,” the pair said in their latest “Hog Outlook” report.

Meatingplace points that there is no firm data to show how many hogs have been infected, but some estimates up this figure as high as 5 million pigs killed by the disease.   Currently 27 states have reported at least one confirmed case of PEDv, though some reports indicate the virus may have spread to Vermont. This report, however, could not be confirmed. Read, “More PEDv cases reported; Brazil pork industry asks for safeguards.”

So far, two countries have moved to temporarily suspend imports of live pigs and another is considering it.

"Japan and China are the first two to officially notify the U.S., and they both happened this week," Tony Clayton, president of the Livestock Exporters Association of the USA, told Reuters.

Clayton adds that import permits are being delayed.

China, the world’s top pork consumer, has slapped “temporary restrictions” on imports of U.S. pigs, though Reuters reports U.S. livestock exports hope the country will lift its restrictions on imports of U.S. pigs by the end of April if test can be agreed for PEDv.  

"I know both sides are talking," Clayton said about negotiations over the tests. "We're told from the Chinese side that it shouldn't take long. We'd hope that it would happen yesterday but it's not going to happen that quick,”

China had its own PEDv outbreak in 2010. Chris Hurt, an agricultural economist at Purdue University, points that some U.S. veterinarians believe this outbreak to be the origin of the current U.S. outbreak.

"Any country would be very, very hesitant to be importing live animals from the United States at this point," he added.

Read more from Reuters here.

Last week, Brazil’s pork industry asked the country’s Ministry of Agriculture to temporarily suspend pig imports for breeding and genetic material and plasma from U.S. swine to protech their herds from PEDv. The request is currently being studied.  Click here for more.