It appears that immunity to Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus doesn’t last nearly as long as the several years veterinarians had been thinking.
An Indiana farm has become the first to confirm publicly it suffered a second outbreak of a deadly pig virus and that has officials worrying that the disease will be even more problematic than they thought.
The farm, through its veterinarian, publicly acknowledged on Tuesday a repeat incident of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), which has killed up to seven million pigs and pushed pork prices to record highs since it was first identified in the U.S. a year ago.
Matt Ackerman, whose veterinary practice is in southeastern Indiana, told Reuters news agency that the farm’s operators do not want to be identified but authorized him to speak on their behalf.
The state and federal effort to stamp out PEDv has operated on an assumption that a pig, once infected, develops immunity and will not be afflicted by the disease again for at least several years. Likewise, farms that had endured the disease were not known to suffer secondary outbreaks.
But a year after the virus was identified, repeat outbreaks have occurred at farms but not been publicly confirmed before now. These so-called secondary outbreaks are a challenge to efforts to stem the disease, which is almost always fatal to baby piglets.