Diarrhea Virus Now Killing Pigs in 27 States

Virginia could be next
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2014 9:23 AM CDT
Diarrhea Virus Now Killing Pigs in 27 States
In this March 3, 2014 photo sows at Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks, Ind., lay in nesting boxes, left, inside a larger group pen.   (AP Photo/M.L.Johnson)

The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus is becoming more of a, well, epidemic. Arizona has now become the 27th state to reveal that the disease has hits its hog farms (up from 22 states last month), and Virginia could soon be No. 28. That state has already seen positive samples of the virus in the environment, just not yet among hogs, Reuters reports. While not dangerous to humans, 80% to 100% of piglets that get PEDv die, and that could mean bad news for bacon lovers.

The number of confirmed cases nationwide totaled 4,458 as of last week. But each "case" can represent a single pig or a site's full herd, and industry experts place the death toll as high as 5 million pigs since May. "While it has absolutely no impact on food safety, it has clear implications for the pork industry in terms of supplying pork to consumers," the National Pork Board president said in a statement, per Time. North Carolina and Michigan senators yesterday pushed the USDA to funnel disaster assistance to affected pork producers. (Click to read about a rather unappetizing strategy for dealing with the disease.)

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