I heard this on the news the other evening and thought I'd pass it along.
Major hog operations, small farms and even pork prices could be affected by this since there is no known cure and generally fatal to piglets.
According to the article "Officials said it's unclear how the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, or PED, entered the U.S. Previously, it was thought to exist only in Europe and China. Colorado and 12 other states began reporting the virus in April, and officials confirmed its presence in May."
The PED virus is particularly deadly to young piglets causing diarrhea and severe vomiting which leads to dehydration because they can't retain fluids. One report estimates, in Oklahoma alone, between 250,000 and 300,000 piglets have died.
The virus is present in Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Dakota.
Officials are working to contain the virus and to determine how it arrived in the U.S. There is really no idea how it arrived in the U.S. but some believe it came in through feed since it has shown up in other states at around the same time. Another thought is that it came via transport vehicles, while some experts believe it may have already been here but had never been properly diagnosed due to it's similar to other diseases that swine producers deal with all the time.
The virus has little to no effect on older hogs or their meat, and can't be transmitted to humans. Because the virus is new to the U.S., it wasn't required to be regulated or reported.
Since sows usually have several litters annually, any increase in pork prices related to the virus likely won't happen for another six to eight months.
The American Association of Swine Veterinarians is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the NPPC to resolve the situation.
Contact your veterinarian if you believe your piglet has symptoms of the virus.