Illinois has joined Iowa and Indiana on the list of states with confirmed cases of PEDV—porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.
Discovery of the virus was announced by USDA late last week. It’s the first time the disease has been found in the U.S.
USDA chief veterinarian Dr. John Clifford says mortality rates associated with PEDV are only one to three percent in feeder pigs, but are much higher in baby pigs.
“It can be anywhere from 50 to 80 percent, or even higher, in baby pigs,” Clifford says.
Although the virus can be devastating to individual producers who have to deal with it, Clifford says it’s not something to get overly concerned about.
“We don’t think that this should be a disease that’s quarantined—and we don’t think that states should take action against this,” he says, “and we certainly hope it doesn’t impact our trade.”
Because the virus exists in many other parts of the world, industry officials do not believe exports of U.S. pork will be affected by the outbreak.
The National Pork Board stresses that PEDV is not a threat to food safety and does not spread to other animal species or to humans.