Cold, wet weather may help spread deadly pig virus: USDA

Friday, January 10, 2014
By Paul Martin

Reuters.com
Jan. 9, 2013

(Reuters) – Frigid temperatures across a large swath of the United States this week followed by warmer conditions could aid the spread of a fatal pig disease now in 22 states, affecting hundreds of thousands of pigs, a swine veterinarian said on Thursday.

“The virus likes cold, wet and cloudy days,” said Rodney Baker, a swine veterinarian at Iowa State University at Ames, Iowa, the top pork producing state in the United States.

At this time of year the virus gets frozen on clothes and shoes, making it easy to track around and spread, Baker added.

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), which causes diarrhea, vomiting and severe dehydration in hogs, has spread quickly across the U.S. hog belt since its discovery in the United States in April 2013.

California and Wyoming are the latest states to report confirmed cases of the deadly pig virus, bringing the number of states affected to 22, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Thursday.

The number of new cases increased by 134 for the week of December 29, bringing total reported cases to 2,084, according to the USDA’s National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).

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