PED Outbreaks Across Colombia Affect Backyard, Commercial Farms

COLOMBIA - The Colombian veterinary authorities have reported 45 porcine epidemic diarrhoea outbreaks across various backyard and commercial farms in Colombia.
calendar icon 11 June 2014
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The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) received an immediate notification on Sunday, 9 June. According to the report, the outbreaks were initially observed on 7 March and confirmed on 8 May. A notification was sent to the OIE on the grounds that PED is an emerging disease.

According to the report, a total of 18552 pigs were found susceptible, out of which 3328 cases and 1054 deaths were reported. None of the animals were slaughtered and/or destroyed.

While the OIE is not fully able to deduce the exact cause of the outbreaks, it is suspected that introduction of new live animals, legal and illegal movement of animals, swill feeding and fomites from humans, vehicles, feed etc. may have contributed largely to the outbreaks.

According to the OIE, in March, following an unusual acute diarrhea in pigs (diarrhea and death in piglets), the Colombian Agricultural Institute implemented the following measures in order to identify the disease and control it: health emergency status, quarantine on suspected premises, cleaning and disinfection, movement control, enhanced biosecurity measures, ban on animal gathering, active surveillance, inclusion in the information system as a notifiable disease and epidemiological surveillance, among others.

There have been 45 outbreaks affecting commercial and backyard farms mainly in the Departments of Cundinamarca and Huila (42 outbreaks) as well as one sporadic outbreak each in the Departments of Tolima, Boyacá and Santander.

Low morbidity and mortality rates are observed, very different from those observed in other countries as United States of America, Canada and Mexico, and farms recover their production levels in less than two weeks.

As it is a disease never observed in the country, samples were sent to the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in the United States of America in order to confirm the causal agent by RRT-PCR, virus isolation and sequencing.

On 6 June 2014, the USDA confirmed in a preliminary report by RRT-PCR and sequencing that samples submitted were similar to the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus reported in the United States of America but different to the virus observed in Asia.

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