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Archive for April 22nd, 2014

29 U.S. States Report Deadly PED

Posted by feww on April 22, 2014


PED could seriously threaten U.S. pork production

The highly contagious disease called porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) has killed about 5 million U.S. hogs since it was first diagnosed in May 2013 and seriously threatens pork production across the country.

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

About 6,000 separate cases of the virus have been reported in 29 states across the nation. The U.S. has about 68,300 hog farms, according to USDA.

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 with CDC.

Iowa is the top hog producer state in the U.S., followed by North Carolina.

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 most seriously at risk populations are piglets less than 10 days old.

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. PED causes severe dehydration and loss of appetite and has a nearly 100 percent mortality rate.

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 ( = 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, thousands of cases have been confirmed by the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. […]

Value of Trade in Swine and Swine Products
In 2011, the United States exported 1.75 billion metric tons of pork and related products worth $5.32 billion (The American Meat Institute, 2013).  Japan and Mexico are the two leading importers of U.S. pork products by value, said USDA.

PED in Japan

The deadly virus has already infected about 250,000 pigs in Japan, killing at least 50,000 of them, as of April 20,2014.

The disease was confirmed in Okinawa last October and has since spread to hundreds of pig farms in 21 prefectures throughout Japan.

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