Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea found in the United States

Biosecurity alert for pork producers – swine herds have no immunity to new virus.

An outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) has recently been confirmed in Indiana and Iowa with suspect cases in Illinois and Colorado. This is a new virus to the United States so it is expected that there is no immunity to any swine herd. PED has been found in swine herds in Europe and Asia starting in the early 1980s.

This disease is similar to TGE (Transmissible Gastroenteritis) and causes severe watery diarrhea in pigs. Morbidity in sows and piglets is high. Mortality, especially in piglets is also frequent due to dehydration. Swine herds typically experience an outbreak in 4 to 5 days once exposed to the virus. Clinically, there is very little difference between TGE and PED.

There is no treatment for PED. An emphasis should be made on prevention and control. If your herd is exposed to the virus, suckling pigs should have free access to water to help decrease dehydration and gestating sows can be exposed to the virus to help build immunity in piglets, similar to methods used with a TGE outbreak. Introduction of new stock should be suspended during an outbreak, along with increased internal biosecurity practices to help decrease the spread of disease within your herd.

Although all transmission routes of PED have not been confirmed, it is suspected to be transmitted via infected pigs, transportation vessels and contaminated fomites. In order to help protect your herd from possible infections, efforts should be made to increase biosecurity protocols, with special emphasis on transportation biosecurity. Proper washing and disinfection protocols for all trucks returning from market should be followed.  Proper washing and disinfection protocols for all trucks returning from market should be followed. It is important to note that this disease is not transmissible to humans and does not affect the meat or meat products.

If you suspect clinical signs or have questions please contact your herd veterinarian. For more information on PED and biosecurity practices for swine farms please contact Beth Ferry, Michigan State University Extension Pork educator at franzeli@msu.edu or 269-445-4438.

Did you find this article useful?