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Weekly Overview: Eight Months on and PED Virus Still Spreading in the US

23 December 2013

GLOBAL - With animal diseases spreading rapidly - notably Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea in the US and African Swine Fever in the Russian Federation - there has never been a greater need for heightened biosecurity and innovation to control these infections and protect the global pig industry, writes Jackie Linden.

It was in mid-April this year that Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) was first diagnosed in US pigs, since when its spread has been relentless. The virus has now been found in pigs in 20 states, with top pig-producing state, Iowa, the worst affected and accounting for half of the new positive results in the latest week. These positive results were found quite evenly distributed in pigs of different ages - suckling, nursery and grower/finisher.

The longer this virus is around, the greater its effects will be on the markets in the US and globally in 2014.

The US National Pork Board suggests heightened biosecurity and stepped-up communications are key to the containment and eradication of the PED outbreak that has spread throughout the country.

Turning to other diseases, The Pirbright Institute in the UK has been awarded £4.4 million to work with researchers from the universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford as well as the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, The Genome Analysis Centre and an industry partner on a long-term study on the transmission of swine influenza.

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are stepping up their efforts to help fight deadly swine viruses, Classical Swine Fever and African Swine Fever, which are prevalent in other countries and pose a threat to the United States.

African swine fever continues to spread among wild boars living in sanctuaries in the Volgograd region of Russia.

Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden

Top image via Shutterstock

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