Confirmed cases of a deadly pig virus spreading across the US farm belt increased by 265 last week, the biggest weekly increase since it was discovered in the United States in April 2013, according to the USDA's National Animal Health Laboratory Network.
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), which causes diarrhea, vomiting and severe dehydration in hogs, is transmitted orally and through pig faeces. While older pigs have a chance of survival, the virus kills 80 to 100 percent of piglets that contract it.
The total number of confirmed PEDv cases has increased to 2,962 in 23 states as of the week ended Feb. 1.
More than 35 percent of the cases, 1,095, were confirmed in Iowa, the top US pork producing state.
As defined by the USDA, each diagnostic case could represent multiple animals at either a single farm site or several locations.
The USDA's NAHLN released its latest PEDv data on Wednesday. (http: www.aasv.org/pedv/PEDV-weekly-report-140205.pdf)
The virus was also confirmed in the Canadian province of Ontario on Jan. 23. The province has reported nine confirmed cases as of Feb. 6.
PEDv does not affect humans, and federal officials have said pork from pigs that have survived the virus is safe to eat.