Home News Cold weather renews threat of deadly swine virus

Cold weather renews threat of deadly swine virus

DES MOINES, Iowa – With colder weather in place, the threat of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) increases. PEDv is a production disease which kills off young piglets; it does not affect humans.

“This would be the peak season for it; this type of weather,” says market analyst Jamey Kohake with Paragon Investments. “And we’ve already seen a fresh outbreak out in Utah. . . But nothing that I’ve heard of here in the Midwest that’s wiping out another herd or nothing like that, but yes, absolutely; this is prime season for it.”

Pork Checkoff Director of Swine Health Information and Research Dr. Lisa Becton says PEDv research remains a priority for the National Pork Board.

“We just finished a study out of the Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, Minnesota,” says Becton. “And that was looking at pits, and how do we handle manure, now that a lot of people are getting out in the field. And so, one of the things that we’re learning, is that the longer time a producer has away from the initial infection, the less likely the virus is to be able to survive in their pits. We still want people to focus on cleaning, disinfection; but that also gives us an idea, especially if people have to haul manure or use contractors, it would be best to schedule farms that have been infected over the longest period of time, and then work your way down to farms that have been most recently infected.

Biosecurity is critically important when dealing with PEDv, and Becton says the basics still apply.

“Make sure any equipment is free of organic materials, specifically manure, but use appropriate disinfectant,” she explains. “Now that it’s getting colder, [producers] might consider storing equipment indoors to dry; different things like that.”