Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus likely entered the United States via feed, says the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The virus devastated the U.S. pork industry, wiping out about eight per cent of the hog population. It was the most deadly to newborn piglets, usually killing all of them in farrowing barns.
It also came to Ontario and it was also feed that was the culprit, although this time blood plasma from the United States used in infant-pig formulas.
The USDA believes it was sacks, called totes, that carried feed that were infected and responsible for introducing the virus. The report does not say where the virus originated.
The tote bags were frequently reused prior to the 2013 epidemic and unlikely to have been disinfected in a way that would have eliminated viruses, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said in its report.
The agency examined several possible scenarios for how the virus entered the United States, including via pet treats or organic soybeans, but concluded the shipping sacks were the most likely culprit.