(4/18/14) The federal government is about to get a better handle on a disease that has killed millions of farm pigs in the last year.
Wisconsin is one of over two dozen states where Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, or P-E-D, has shown up. This morning, the U-S-D-A said it would require farmers to report pig infections -- and labs must send tissue-and-fecal samples to the U-S-D-A when they report positive test results. Also, farmers affected by P-E-D outbreaks will have to take part in a program to help keep the virus from spreading. Until today, the federal government has been using voluntary lab reports to try and keep track of the virus, which began showing up in the U-S last year. Officials say P-E-D is believed to have originated in China. It causes severe diarrhea in newborn piglets, and many of them die from dehydration.