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Swine virus surging

The deadly porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is on the rise in U.S. swine herds in December, as producers anticipated and dreaded as cold weather sets in.

Testing data from the USDA National Animal Health Laboratory Network shows 140 new cases reported for the week of December 1, 2013. This represents the highest number of new cases reported in a single week since the introduction of the virus in April. The addition of Nebraska brings to 20 the number of states reporting at least one confirmed case of PEDV virus in a swine herd.

Biosecurity suggestions

What can you do to decrease the chance of your herds becoming infected with PEDV? According to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, first and foremost, review and tighten biosecurity protocols. Pay particular attention to anything or anyone sourced internationally. Be especially diligent about personnel and visitors, but also consider supplies, feed ingredients, food items, etc. that might be of international origin.

Additional biosecurity recommendations should include:

  • limiting traffic (people and equipment) onto the farm
  • thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting anything coming onto the farm
  • enforcing downtime requirements and maintaining a log of visitors
  • taking care when disposing of dead stock particularly if using a communal disposal method
  • isolating newly arriving animals
  • showering into the facility where practical and changing into clean boots and coveralls. Be careful not to track the virus between herds on your person, equipment or vehicles.

If you suspect PEDV, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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