The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) hit Dave Struthers’ farm near Collins earlier this month, and it isn’t pretty. Pigs are sick — more than 80 have died — serving as an unwelcome reminder that PEDV remains as unpredictable and devastating to hog herds as when the virus first appeared in the United States nearly two years ago.
Struthers, the Iowa Pork Producers Association President, first saw symptoms of the virus in his finishing hogs just a few days before last week’s Iowa Pork Congress began in Des Moines. One day later, gestating sows were showing the same symptoms.
"My first thought was I was hoping for a hot E.coli scour that I could give them anti-scour medicine and they would recover. But that wasn’t the case," Struthers said. "The vet came Monday morning and we submitted six pigs to the diagnostic lab. She said it’s a hot strain."
Researchers still haven’t pinpointed the direct source of the PEDV virus, which first appeared in the United States in May 2013.