Deadly pig virus is now in Ohio: Key is strict biosecurity

Experts first found porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDv, in the U.S. just a little more than a year ago. Since then it has caused major losses on hog farms across the country and is expected to affect the availability and prices of pork products, an OARDC scientist said.

Despite efforts to combat the disease, 29 states, including Ohio, had confirmed cases of PEDv as of May 7, according to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

“New herds are being infected on a daily basis throughout the country, so it is very likely that we will see infections in populations not previously exposed to the virus the rest of this year,” said Steve Moeller, associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences.

“This virus has proven to be very persistent and difficult to contain. Even in swine operations that are very biosecure, animals are still getting infected.”

“This virus has proven to be very persistent and difficult to contain.”—Steve Moeller

What it may mean, best thing to do

  • A member of the coronavirus family, PEDv causes intestinal disease in swine of all ages and high mortality in young pigs. Pre-weaned pigs see almost 100 percent mortality.
  • Moeller said strict biosecurity measures are the best way to prevent the spread of PEDv. Vaccines are still in development.
  • “The best recommendation for producers is to clean, clean, clean,” he said. “Facilities need to be as clean as possible.”
  • PEDv isn’t a health risk to people and doesn’t affect the safety of pork.
  • To contact the scientist: Steve Moeller at moeller.29@osu.edu.

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