(NAFB)--The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus has now spread to 13 states - including Arkansas, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota - since it was first diagnosed in the U.S. last month.
There also are now more than 100 positive cases of the virus. Veterinarians and scientists studying the outbreak say the mortality among very young pigs infected by PEDV is commonly 50-percent - but can be up to 100-percent - while the virus doesn’t typically kill older pigs. This strain is 99.4-percent similar to the strain that affected Chinese herds last year - which killed more than 1-million piglets. American Association of Swine Veterinarians Executive Director Tom Burkgren says PEDV has proven far more tolerant of heat - which isn’t what the pork industry expected.
The virus’ uncertainty is creating fear with traders, meat processors and farmers as to how it will impact pork supplies later this year. Still - this virus doesn’t pose any health risk to humans or other animals. Federal officials and livestock economists confirm meat from PEDV-infected pits is safe for people to eat.