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State vet warns producers PEDV coming to Nebraska

The Nebraska State Veterinarian says it's only a matter of time until Nebraska sees a virus that threatens the state's pork industry. Dr. Dennis Hughes says the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus was thought to exist only in Europe and China. Fourteen states have reported cases of the virus since April.

In a interview with KNEB/Rural Radio Network, Hughes is surprised Nebraska doesn't have any confirmed cases. He says Iowa, Colorado, Kansas and South Dakota have reported cases so it's likely Nebraska will get it too.

The virus causes severe diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration in pigs. It will be effect adult pigs, but usually swine over 20 -30 pounds can handle the two to three days of sickness, but new born piglets can not handle that, causing approximately 90 percent of all piglets die after 24 - 36 hours after they become ill.

Several different agencies including the Food and Drug Administration are involved in studying this outbreak, but so far Hughes says it's a mystery how this virus is being spread. He says they have learned some of the farms that has had the virus didn't do a good job in cleaning and disinfecting their trailers. In areas with a large concentration of cases, hogs were be transported from a place with a lot of hogs like a sale barn, then brought the virus back to the swine operation.

With county fairs or any kind of exposition, he urges producers to use optimum bio security measures. It's also critical that any equipment that is used at the fair to be cleaned and disinfected.

Currently there is no way to prevent Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. A commercial vaccine will be released in the next couple of months.

This summer hundreds of thousands of young pigs nationwide have died from this virus, which is concerning for the state's hog producers. Nebraska ranks 6th nationally for all hogs and pigs with more than three million head. So please do your part in protecting the your herd with good biosecurity, so maybe we can keep this out of Nebraska.

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