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Transmissible Gastro-Enteritis (TGE)

See also chapter 8.

(459) This is a highly infectious disease which in the weaning and the growing pig is clinically indistinguishable from porcine epidemic diarrhoea. If the virus is introduced into the finishing herd for the first time there is a rapid spreading illness with vomiting and a watery diarrhoea affecting almost 100% of animals. Disease disappears spontaneously over a 3 to 5 week period. Mortality is usually low but morbidity can be very high. The virus usually then dies out of the population unless there are large numbers of pigs on-site. Also if susceptible pigs are being brought in for growing and finishing, the virus is maintained in the population by continual infection. The disease then becomes endemic. The main effect on the individual pig is dehydration which is resolved in about a week. Nevertheless the disease may increase the slaughter age by 5 to 10 days.

The virus is sensitive to ultra violet radiation and in warm temperatures will only survive outside the pig for a few days. If an endemic situation therefore develops on a breeding farm a break of 2 to 3 weeks by segregated disease control is necessary, together with management and hygiene, to break the cycle of infection. Alternatively if pigs are being brought in to a finishing unit it is necessary to have a break for 3 for 4 weeks. TGE can become a major problem in SEW systems.

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