Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus can spread up to 10 miles by air, researchers at the University of Minnesota have found.
They gathered air samples downwind from a large hog operation in Oklahoma to find out whether the highly-contagious disease can be spread by air.
While the samples gathered 10 miles or more downwind would not infect piglets, other air samples collected closer to the barns did sicken piglets.
The researchers say this is the first evidence that the disease can spread by air.
Most biosecurity efforts have focused on eliminating exposure to manure from infected barns and trucks.
There has also been recent confirmation that PED can spread via feed, especially where dried blood plasma from pigs is used in piglet rations.
This research into airborne transmission was conducted by Carmen Alonso, Dane P. Goede, Robert B. Morrison, Peter R. Davies, Albert Rovira, Douglas G. Marthaler and Montserrat Torremorell.