In 2013, a new swine disease was discovered in the U.S. Very quickly, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) spread across the country, killing pigs at hundreds of farms in at least 30 states, including Ohio.
As PEDv has continued to impact the swine industry, Ohio State University Extension has worked with hog producers across the state to keep them updated about biosecurity measures they must follow to minimize the spread of the disease, and about technologies that can help them make better decisions.
“Working with Ohio State in concert with our local veterinarian has helped us use technology,such as new methods of testing for the disease, more effectively,” said Pat Hord, owner of Hord Livestock in Bucyrus, Ohio. His swine operation was affected by the virus, but has been successful at controlling it.
OSU Extension swine specialist Steve Moeller said continued research and educational efforts are needed to help the industry fend off PEDv and secure an adequate supply of pork products to
- PEDv has killed more than 7 million piglets in the U.S., reducing pork production and industry profits, and threatening to impact the availability of pork products as well as prices.
- Unlike other viruses, PEDv does not pose any risk to food safety or human health.
- The disease causes 50 to 100 percent mortality among piglets. Adult pigs show only mild illness, but they can carry the virus — which is transmitted via contaminated feces — and spread
it to other pigs.
- The virus has proven to be very persistent and difficult to contain. Hot summers and cold winters are having little effect on PEDv, so new herds are being infected on a continuous basis throughout the country.
- PEDv might also impact swine exhibits at agricultural fairs, as the conglomeration of animals from many different farms could spread the disease even further.
“Ohio State was extremely pivotal in helping answer questions about the potential spread of PEDv in the feed for Ohio pork producers,” said Dr. Todd Price, D.V.M., of North Central Veterinary Services in Sycamore, Ohio. “The university’s experts should be commended for their timely and valuable research put forth to help producers learn more about this devastating disease.”