(2/24/14) Researchers in Minnesota have developed two diagnostic tests to try and slow the spread of a pig disease in the Upper Midwest.
Earlier this month, Wisconsin officials reported a half-dozen cases of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, or P-E-D-V. It raised enough concerns to prohibit spring weigh-ins for pigs to be entered at Wisconsin fairs this summer. Wisconsin also recommended that only terminal hog shows be held this year, in which the exhibited pigs are sent directly to slaughter after the shows. Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian with the National Pork Producers' Council, says research by the University of Minnesota shows that the virus is very contagious -- and just a thimbleful of P-E-D-V could infect the entire sow herd in the U-S. While there's no vaccine to prevent the disease, the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine has create a pair of diagnostic tests for pigs. Also, the animal health company Zoetis is working with Iowa State University to come up with a P-E-D-V vaccine.