Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus has spread into Hawaii, according to the state’s department of agriculture. The deadly swine virus has affected herds in 32 states to date, but this is the first time PED virus has gone outside of the continental states.
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) announced on November 20 it had issued a quarantine order stopping the movement of pigs on Oahu after an outbreak of PED virus, was confirmed on a farm in Waianae Valley. PED virus causes significant sickness in swine and causes high mortality in piglets.
The farm last week called HDOA’s Animal Disease Control Branch to report many cases of diarrhea among their swine. State veterinarians took samples from the farm and sent them to the Kansas State University (KSU) Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, which confirmed that the pigs had been infected with PED virus.
Quarantine ordered to contain PEDv outbreak
Acting State Veterinarian Dr. Isaac Maeda issued a quarantine order on the farm to contain the outbreak and also to stop the movement of pigs on the west side of Oahu. No swine shall be moved east past Nanakuli from Makaha, Waianae and Nanakuli Valley. The order also restricts movement of swine from Oahu to neighbor islands.
Disease control measures have been instituted on the farm, which has a total of about 150 pigs. About 25 percent of the pigs (mainly piglets) died. However, it appears that the remaining pigs are recovering and no deaths have occurred on the farm since the weekend. It is not known at this point how the virus may have come to Hawaii; however, the farm did not import any swine.
“Our current focus is to contain the virus and prevent its spread on Oahu,” said Maeda. “We will also survey other swine operations and try to determine if the virus has spread.”
PED virus was first confirmed in the U.S. in May 2013. To date, PED virus is estimated to have killed up to eight million young pigs.
In July 2014, HDOA increased swine import requirements to help prevent the entry of swine infected with PED virus into Hawaii. This included exclusion of swine from premises with PED virus and negative tests for PED virus prior to shipping.
Statewide there are about 230 pig farms – 70 of which are on Oahu. Most are small operations.