CaribVET warning against viral disease in pork

By Caribbean Medical News Staff

The Caribbean Animal Health Network (CaribVET) is asking those in pig farming and all stakeholders to be wary of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED), a viral illness found in pigs.
PED causes vomiting, severe diarrhea and loss of appetite in pigs of all ages and mortality rates of up to 100% in piglets under a week old. The illness cannot be spread from animals to humans and so the consumption of pork is not the issue. However, CaribVET is asking the Caribbean pig industry stakeholders to be wary of the virus,
They say that an outbreak of the disease may cause grave economic danger to economies which depend on pig farming for a living.
The disease has been around Europe and Asia for a while but since the first case was identified in the United States in May 2013 and has been spreading across Canada, confirmed in the Dominican Republic and has been confirmed in 23 US states.
Urgently stop the spread of serious illness
According to CaribVET, sick animals will show symptoms within 36 hrs. The disease is spread through fecal matter and contaminated surfaces. The diagnosis of PED has to be done in a laboratory from samples taken from dead pigs. Despite the symptoms similarity to transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE), the viruses are not in any way related. TGE vaccinated pigs are also not protected from PED.
CaribVET says that in order to protect pigs from PED, Farmers are being asked to ensure quality assurance by keeping surroundings farms, pens, vehicles, feeding areas and farming attire absolutely sanitized. They are also suggesting that those working with herd also change their clothing as they move between herds.

CaribVET is working closely with national animal health authorities in the region alongside the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Both international agencies are also increasing their efforts to educate stakeholders and to prepare protocols for the protection of the regional pork industry against the threat of PED.
Farmers are asked to report any signs of PED as a matter of urgency to their local ministries of agriculture and veterinary officers.

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