Cold, Wet Weather May Help Spread Deadly Pig Virus

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Frigid temperatures across a large swath of the United States this week followed by warmer conditions could aid the spread of a fatal pig disease now in 22 states, affecting hundreds of thousands of pigs, a swine veterinarian said on Thursday.

"The virus likes cold, wet and cloudy days," said Rodney Baker, a swine veterinarian at Iowa State University at Ames, Iowa, the top pork producing state in the United States.

At this time of year the virus gets frozen on clothes and shoes, making it easy to track around and spread, Baker added.

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), which causes diarrhea, vomiting and severe dehydration in hogs, has spread quickly across the U.S. hog belt since its discovery in the United States in April 2013.

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