It’s been a year since Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) was first identified in the United States, and since then, more than 6,400 tests across 30 states have come back positive for the disease. The numbers of pigs killed by the virus tops 7 million.
Despite efforts made to contain and eliminate the disease, it continues to hop from farm and farm. Just one quarter of a teaspoon of infected feces, enough to fill a thimble, can contain 10 million viral particles.
Edward Dubovi, head of Cornell University’s Animal Health Diagnostic Center, points that it doesn’t take much to spread the virus from the bottom of a shoe or a truck tire to an entire herd of pigs.
Many experts expected PEDv cases to mimic those of its coronavirus cousin, Transmissible Gastroenteritis (TGE) and slow during the warmer summer months. See “Industry Sets Its Sights on PEDv” in the April issue of PorkNetwork.
As one Illinois producer explained to Sauk Valley Media that while both PEDv and TGE may be coronaviruses, PEDv is instead “like TGE on steroids.” Read the full report here.
"We don't have hard evidence about how it's spreading," said Dr. Rodney Baker told The Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard. "But we do know we're doing a good job of spreading it."
Baker, a veterinarian and pig expert at Iowa State University, points that researchers believe dust from infected farms or the pig manure spread on fields by be responsible for the rapid spread of the disease. Click here for more from The Post-Standard.
Biosecurity has become the forefront in defending against PEDv, and several state fairs have taken steps to protect pigs from PEDv, including suspending weigh-ins or even the pig exhibit in its entirety.