PEDV spread expected to decrease over the summer

PEDV spread expected to decrease over the summer

Credit: University of Illinois Extension Credit: University of Illinois Extension
June 2, 2014

URBANA, Ill. (RFD-TV) A new disease in the U.S. hog herd is here to stay, according to an expert.

PEDV wanes in the summer months, but can be expected to return in the fall and winter.

PEDV, which stands for porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, appeared in the United States hog herd in April of last year. USDA projects the U.S. hog herd is down about 10 percent because of the disease.

However, it is not clear the impact is quite so harsh. Still, in general a farm infected with PEDV can expect to lose 10 percent of its pig crop.

“That’s ten percent of the production for the year in that farm. For 52 weeks in a year, and you lose five weeks of pigs, it’s plus or minus 10 percent, and so it’s a significant hit to the farm. It’s a lot of money. Particularly, pigs have been really valuable here in the last year, partially because of PED,” said University of Illinois Clinical Veterinarian Jim Lowe.

The disease attacks baby pigs, infects the intestines, and makes them unable to observe nutrients or water. They die of dehydration and there is nothing to be done about it. The disease recurs in herds, and eases off in the warmer months. The only good news is that pigs can develop some limited immunity to PEDV.

“So, we don’t think, if you look at some estimates that are out there, we don’t believe the outbreaks next fall will be as bad as they were this fall, maybe half as bad or a quarter as bad. So 2.5 to 5 percent of the pigs, if you believe the 10 percent estimate this year. But this is a disease that’s here to stay. It’ll get better over time, but it is not going to go away,” said Lowe.

This report is from our partners at the University of Illinois Extension.

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