PED Virus Update

national_pork_boardAccording to the latest data from the National Animal Health Laboratory – the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus has been confirmed on 1,373 swine premises in 19 states. With the onset of colder weather – National Pork Board vice president Dale Norton is not surprised with the increased number of PED cases…

“Those that are familiar with TGE, it is a similar disease, though the virulence is higher. We have had more issues with TGE in the winter so the expectation is that we could have more trouble with PED in the winter time.”

Biosecurity has always been a priority for the swine industry. With this disease – even more attention must be given to biosecurity…
“It is surprising how virulent it is. We have not figured out totally how it transfers. It is mostly a fecal oral disease but if you are within a mile, and even though your biosecurity is good, it seems to travel somehow. The Pork Board has invested about $8 million in research. There is a strategic planning that meets weekly to see what is missing. For example there are protocols that have been working on some farmers to build immunity, and there are other farms that have done the same thing and it has not worked. So they are trying to put some research on seeing what standard protocols on building immunity in sow herds will be effective.”

With any research effort – it can be a long process going from the request-for-proposal stage to approval. With the PED Virus – Norton says the Pork Checkoff took an expedited approach…

“We have another strategic group that met to identify what the real research needs are immediately. One was we needed to grow the virus as they have had a hard time growing it in the lab. We need to grow it in order to do research on how to eliminate it. It was a very expedited process where we saw the need and really tackled it.”

The Pork Checkoff is continuing to fund research on the PED Virus. More on that will be available in our next update.
For more information, go to www.pork.org.


A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.

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