Monday, February 10, 2014

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus - Deadly, and Highly Contagious

As Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) continues to work its way through pigs in the United States, a 5th case has been confirmed in Ontario, Canada.

Signs and symptoms of piglets infected with PEDv - Credit CDC Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal
Ontario's agricultural ministry says a pig from a farm north of Toronto tested positive for PEDv on the first of February. This is the third pig to test positive in the outbreak, which saw its first confirmed case on the 22 of January 2014.

They agricultural ministry is expecting more pigs to test positive for the virus and are fearful of the overall toll, as PEDv has been responsible for killing millions of piglets in the U.S. in recent years.

Meanwhile in the United States...

PEDv is making its way across the Midwest, now including Minnesota. PEDv killed more than 7000 pigs at a facility near Good Thunder, MN in December 2013. Newborn piglets appear to be the most susceptible and it is has a very high mortality rate. The damage to the Good Thunder facility was estimated to be $500,000 USD.

Empirical evidence suggests that the disease will continue to spread, especially in the north, until warm weather breaks the cycle.

The University of Minnesota Swine Disease Eradication Center has some wonderful information on PEDv
  • PEDv was confirmed in the United States the week of May 13, 2013
  • PEDv has caused outbreaks in Europe possibly as early as 1971 and was identified in Asia as early as 1982
  • PEDv is a member of the Coronaviridae family
  • Incubation in individual pigs may be as short as 22-36 hours or 2-4 days at the herd level
  • Characterized by severe diarrhea and vomiting, significant mortality (50-100%) in suckling piglets under seven days of age (pigs older than seven days often recover)
  • Virus can be transmitted directly or indirectly by contaminated fomites (footwear, clothing, farm supplies, and vehicles)
  • PEDV is only infectious to swine
  • There is no concern for human safety
Lance D. Presser has a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology and currently is a Public Health Laboratorian.

Hire Lance as a consultant using Zintro.

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