PED Virus Affecting Pigs in Indiana, 14 Other States
Health officials say virus is not harmful to people; pork prices may go up
If the price of pork at your grocery store goes up soon, you can blame a pig virus that doesn't affect humans, but is causing a headache for some farmers.
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, or PED virus, has been found in 15 states, including Indiana. Denise Derrer with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health says food scientists thought the virus was contained to Asia and Europe, but says it somehow made it's way to the states for the first time a few weeks ago.
Since PED does not affect humans, it is not a reportable virus, meaning farmers are not required to provide details to state or federal health officials. But Derrer says PED is potentially fatal for pigs, particularly piglets, causing mass deaths at some farms. Derrer says eleven farms in Indiana have been affected by PED so far, but she doesn't know the location of the farms due to the lack of reporting requirements.
The American Association of Swine Veterinarians says the virus has been confirmed in 200 U.S. farms, with two large pork production facilities in Colorado shutting down due to widespread contamination. But Derrer emphasizes that the pork in your grocery store is safe. "It is not a human health threat. It is not a food safety threat. It is just an economic issue as far as pork producers go," said Derrer.