With pig virus looming, are US farms and food supply safe?

Thursday, May 30, 2013
By Paul Martin

News.MSN.com
May 29 2013

Officials from all over the world are trying to track down the source of the deadly pig virus.

Chicago — The sudden and widespread appearance of a swine virus deadly to young pigs – one never before seen in North America – is raising questions about the bio-security shield designed to protect the U.S. food supply.

The swine-only virus, the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV), poses no danger to humans or other animals, and the meat from infected pigs is safe for people to eat.

Though previously seen in parts of Asia and Europe, the virus now has spread into five leading hog-raising U.S. states. How it arrived in the United States remains a mystery.

While the U.S. imports millions of pigs each year from Canada, it imports pigs from virtually no other country, and no Canadian cases of PEDV have been confirmed. Veterinarians and epidemiologists say pigs are infected through oral means, and that the virus is not airborne and does it not occur spontaneously in nature.

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