PED is a highly contagious corona virus that affects all ages of pigs. While losses are most dramatic in suckling piglets, all ages can show symptoms of dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea. Infected piglets less than 7 days old may have a mortality (death) rate of about 50%. The mortality rate in suckling piglets is 80-1005, and that rate declines to 1-3% in larger pigs. Many sows have fevers and are off feed for a few days. Most older swine recover without treatment unless a secondary bacterial infection occurs.
The incubation period for PED is 2 days and signs of illness (diarrhea) last 7 to 14 days. Most herds develop immunity within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus.
There is no public/human health risk from PED because it cannot be transferred to humans or other animals, nor is it transferred through pork products.
The virus is transmitted through fecal-oral contact. PED can survive for weeks in the environment (water troughs, feeders, soil, clothing, etc.), and it is most likely spread from one herd to another on boots, tires, etc. that have not been cleaned properly. Removal of feces and debris from surfaces and proper cleaning are essential to preventing and/or slowing the disease.
The disease was first discovered in England in 1971 and is common throughout Europe and Asia. It was first reported in the U.S. in May 2013. As of April 4th, PED has been diagnosed in 28 states, and one million pigs have died from the disease. Economists have estimated that PED could ultimately kill as many as 5 million pigs (about 4.5% of the pigs sent to slaughter last year.)
So what does this mean for 4-Hers showing pigs? Biosecurity should always be at the forefront of decisions made in the livestock industry. Specifically, here are a few things that should be done:
- Limit the co-mingling of animals. The virus is spread through fecal-oral contact. Any co-mingling of animals can lead to the spread of the virus.
- If you visit another farm and are in contact with pigs (even walking through corrals), you will want to consider getting rid of, or at the very least disinfecting the shoes that were worn prior to entering your own pig pens. The virus can spread through the feces on your shoes as you walk from barn to barn, or even from trailer to trailer.
- Quarantine new animals. This is a practice that should always be practiced prior to bringing new animals into an existing healthy herd. Two to three weeks is usually a safe amount of time. PEDv has an incubation period of 12-24 hours, which means that it takes that long from exposure to when signs appear. However, the virus can be shed by animals that do not show symptoms for 3-4 weeks
The National Pork Checkoff has many fact sheets out to help understand this virus. If you have questions please contact the Extension Office.
The following is a recent release from the Wyoming State 4-H Office regarding the PED virus affecting the swine industry. All swine owners please be informed!
In an effort to minimize the risks of spreading disease while supporting the Wyoming State Fair regulations on tagging, the following are recommendations from the UW Wyoming 4-H program:
- Share educational information regarding PEDv with youth, parents, volunteers, superintendents, and others as deemed necessary. Consider local ways to provide education on biosecurity practices for youth enrolled in swine projects and ways to model such practices.
- In support of recommendations from the National Pork Board and the Wyoming State Veterinarian to limit co-mingling of swine to reduce risks of spreading PEDv, Wyoming 4-H recommends NOT having tagging done at any central location. Wyoming 4-H will continue to help youth comply with Wyoming State Fair regulations regarding tagging for entry to the WSF by meeting their required deadlines. To that end, we recommend that tagging be done by the youth owners, 4-H volunteers, parents, or others at the housing location of the swine. Requesting pictures of the tagged animal may be an alternative.
- Wyoming 4-H recommends that any 4-H sponsored “jackpot” show/event develop a biosecurity plan following current recommendations from the National Pork Board and supported by American Association of Swine Veterinarians. We also recommend that organizers include statements on registration materials, on posters, etc., something to the effect of “participating in the event is at your own risk and that of the health of your animals”. Another great time to share information with youth/public and implement biosecurity practices.
- We recommend that planning and implementation of biosecurity measures be done at the local level with the collective input from veterinarians, swine superintendents, 4-H livestock committee, and fair manager/fair board as you determine. Hopefully, said measures will be able to provide young producers (4-H youth) with increased knowledge and better animal health practices at home that are reinforced at events/shows such as fair.
Links to support materials:
Pork Board- http://www.pork.org/Research/4316/PEDVResources.aspx?utm_source=PEDV_Update&utm_medium=email&utm_content=PEDV_Resources&utm_campaign=Vol_2_No_5#.U0cXkqhdV8E
As an experiential youth program, this should be viewed as an opportunity for education and application of animal health best practices with limited consequences on 4-H participation.
What can you do to join the revolution? Post your ideas, and let’s see if we can make it happen!!
With County Fairs, Open Shows, and other competitive events happening during the summer months, it is easy to forget what matters most in competition- doing your best, not defeating the rest. There can only be one winner at a time, but there are other ways to win- WINNING WITH CHARACTER. The Six Pillars of Character are Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. Here are some ways you can win with character:
1. Trustworthiness: have the courage to do what is right and honor the rules of the contest without cutting corners.
2. Respect: treat others the way you want to be treated even if you feel you did as good or even better than they did. Don’t take away from someone else’s victory by putting them down. Everyone should have an opportunity to win and you wouldn’t want anyone putting you down for your wins.
3. Responsibility: acknowledge and meet your moral obligations and fulfill your duties the correct way every time. Hard work and dedication often times takes you further than natural talent.
4. Fairness: Make decisions without favoritism or prejudice and treat people equally. Above all else, do not cheat or bend the rules to gain an advantage over anyone. You have not truly won if you have not competed on the same playing field as everyone else.
5. Caring: Be kind, loving, and considerate to everyone including your animals and take initiative to get to know others. Everyone has something to offer and you just might learn something new by reaching out to others.
6. Citizenship: We are all in this together whether it is just a livestock show, club, or a soccer game. care about and pursue the common good. be a participant and volunteer your time. Help your neighbors (even your stall neighbors) and by helping them look good you’ve, in turn, helped you and everyone around you look good. Follow the rules.