The presence of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus has been confirmed in the United States and spreading throughout swine farms nationwide. PEDV caused outbreaks of diarrhea in Europe as early as 1971 and was identified in Asia as early as 1982.
PEDV is characterized by acute outbreaks of severe diarrhea and vomiting that can affect up to 100% of the herd when previously unexposed. Significant mortality (i.e. average = 50%; high= 100%) is reported to occur in suckling piglets under 7 days of age while pigs that are older than 7 days are expected to recover.
In herds that have become endemic, diarrhea and vomiting are typically limited to suckling and recently weaned pigs. Treatment is normally limited to supportive therapy to address dehydration.
The virus can be transmitted by the direct or indirect fecal-oral route. While the direct route would involve animal to animal contact, the indirect route may include contaminated fomites such as footwear, clothing, farm supplies, and vehicles. Common disinfectants and drying are effective in killing PEDV.
Veterinarians, farmers, and swine industry professionals are taking extreme caution and implementing biosecurity protocols that include measures addressing personnel, animal, and supply movements to prevent the introduction of this new virus into swine herds.