Experts are working to prevent the further spread of the recently confirmed outbreak of deadly porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) in Minnesota, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa and Illinois. Corn Belt states including Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana and Illinois harbor a majority of the United States' hog and pig population
PEDV poses no risk to other animal or human health and no risk to food safety. Should the virus, previously unseen in the United States, become widespread, the pork industry could suffer significant losses. In transoceanic cases of PEDV, around 50 to 60 percent of young swine at newly affected farms perished
The University of Minnesota is helping producers and veterinarians test herds and determine the origin and rate of the pig virus' spread. The United States Department of Agriculture, State Animal Health Officials, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, and the National Pork Board are actively monitoring PEDV and will make recommendations to pork farmers and producers as necessary.
"Veterinarians are taking an active role in preventing the disease's spread," says Montserrat Torremorell, D.V.M., Ph.D., associate professor of veterinary population medicine and Allen D. Leman Chair in Swine Health and Productivity, heads the Swine Disease Eradication Center at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. "What's coming in handy right now is that the U of M has extensive experience in pig disease diagnostics and farm biosecurity. We have a lot of research history on biosecurity and disease transmission that will be helpful in staying at the forefront of this disease."