New Virus Decimating US Pig Farms
Epidemic has killed off untold thousands of piglets
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2013 12:16 AM CDT
Hogs at a farm in Buckhart, Ilinois - one of 16 states that has reported cases of the pig virus.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

(Newser) – A plague from overseas is devastating American pig farmers already reeling from soaring feed prices. The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, which first surfaced in Ohio last spring, has spread to 16 states this year and wiped out thousands of piglets, the New York Times reports. Farmers are scrambling to sanitize their operations, but "if it gets in, you can’t stop it," says a veterinarian who works with farms in Illinois and Indiana. At one farm hit by the virus, "we filled wheelbarrows with dead pigs," he says.

Despite efforts to contain the threat, at least 30 new cases are being reported every week. "There’s not many times that a new virus hits an industry that has no immunity," says an expert who has been studying the virus. "Every pig in the United States is susceptible. It’s like throwing a spark on a bunch of kindling." The last country to experience a major outbreak was China and experts aren't sure how the virus got to the US—and they fear even more damaging animal viruses could also have arrived.

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Showing 3 of 22 comments
1freeusa
Aug 6, 2013 6:04 AM CDT
With all of the epidemics in the farm animal kingdom, and us being at the top of the food chain, looks like we are doooooooomed. I have noticed all of the cases of cancer and tumors that are being reported by middle aged people who have no option but to eat this chemical, hormone, anti-biotic laced food. Good luck humanity
HMD-SMD-ITY
Aug 5, 2013 6:57 PM CDT
And this is bad because..... I mean pork producers have polluted creeks, streams, and lakes to the tune of millions of hectares. Add the Tyson chicken farms and you have a literal catastrophe for states like mine. You don't need to know if you live near a pig farm, you know it within 5 MIRA. I stopped in a Texas town and asked about the smell. The clerk said, "Money." I was considering moving there until I smelled it. I could easily give up eating pork and really I only eat pork ribs just a couple times a year usually at Chilis.
K.KRANK
Aug 5, 2013 6:17 PM CDT
Interesting. I bet this virus is tied to the thousands of dead pigs tossed into the Shanghai river in China a few months ago www.newser.com/story/164216/nearly-3k-dead-pigs-pulled-from-china-river.html I bet they were victims of the new virus.