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Viral Hog Epidemic Outbreak in NC

Posted by feww on March 1, 2014

EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 011
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NC governor urged to declare state of emergency over viral hog epidemic outbreak

Environmental groups have urged Gov. McCrory to declare a state of emergency in North Carolina due to a rapidly-spreading viral outbreak that has affected about a third of North Carolina’s 3,000 major hog farms.

Virus Strain PC21A is a  highly contagious coronavirus that causes porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED). It was first reported in the United States in May 2013 in Iowa.  The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) has since spread rapidly throughout the U.S., according to reports filed at CDC.

13-1685-F1
Electron micrograph of a US porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) particle detected in a field fecal sample collected during a 2013 outbreak of PED on a farm in Ohio, USA; the fecal sample from which PEDV strain PC21A in this study was detected was from a pig on the same farm during the same outbreak. The sample was negatively stained with 3% phosphotungstic acid. Scale bar = 50 nm. Source: CDC – “Pathology of US Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Strain PC21A in Gnotobiotic Pigs”

“The Waterkeeper Alliance and the Riverkeepers sent a letter and a public records request Thursday to state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, asking him to seek the declaration from McCrory and also release more information on the outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED),” said a report.

The virus, thriving in cold, wet weather, kills newborn piglets on infected farms until the herd develops immunity after a few weeks, and is affecting about 100 new farms each week.

Water Quality

“The water-quality watchdogs say they are particularly worried that hog farmers are burying massive numbers of dead animals where they will contaminate groundwater. Also, they say that in some cases dead hogs are left for days, piled in overflowing ‘dead boxes.’ They say the blood and other liquids from those are seeping into groundwater and streams, and that animals feeding on the dead hogs are spreading the virus,” said the report.

The environmentalists have urged the authorities to collect and disseminate more information concerning

  • Numbers of dead hogs
  • Method and of disposal and burial sites of infected carcases
  • Magnitude and extent of threat posed by the epidemic

“Basically we just feel like this is a serious enough problem that the government should be stepping in and getting involved and having direct contact with the facilities that are disposing of these dead hogs,” said Gray Jernigan, a North Carolina-based staff attorney for the Waterkeeper Alliance.

“Since the outbreak began, we’ve certainly seen more hogs sent for disposal and gotten reports of mass burials, and it’s getting to the point where it’s fairly alarming.”

More of this report is posted HERE.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED)

New Variant of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, United States, 2014 (CDC)

Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) was first reported in the United Kingdom in 1971. The disease was characterized by severe enteritis, vomiting, watery diarrhea, dehydration, and a high mortality rate among swine. Subsequently, the causative agent of PED was identified as porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), which belongs to the family Coronaviridae and contains an enveloped, single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome.

PEDV has been reported in many other countries, including Germany, France, Switzerland, Hungary, Italy, China, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam  and was first identified in the United States in May 2013.

By the end of January of 2014, the outbreak had occurred in 23 US states, where 2,692 confirmed cases (www.aasv.org/news/story.php?id = 6989) caused severe economic losses. Recent studies have shown that all PEDV strains in the United States are clustered together in 1 clade within the subgenogroup 2a and are closely related to a strain from China, AH2012 .

In the state of Ohio, the first PED case was identified in June of 2013; since then, hundreds of cases have been confirmed by the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. […]

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