Saif said PEDV is difficult to identify because its symptoms, which include vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite, dehydration and depression, are almost identical to those of transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TEGV), another coronavirus that Saif has researched extensively and which has been present in the U.S. since the mid-20th century.
“The only way to tell these two viruses apart is through laboratory testing,” Saif said. “Producers and veterinarians who observe these symptoms are being encouraged to submit samples for testing so that we can better determine the extent of the outbreak.”
Saif said having enough PEDV samples available is also important for researchers such as she and Wang who are working on ways to learn more about and combat this new disease.
“This virus is difficult to grow in the lab,” she said. “We need all the samples we can possibly get.”
Ohio producers and veterinarians can submit samples to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, which has PEDV tests available and has been instrumental in providing Saif and Wang with virus material to conduct their research.
The American Association of Swine Veterinarians advises producers to follow these recommendations to decrease the chances of their herds becoming infected:
* Pay particular attention to anything sourced internationally, including feed ingredients of foreign origin.
* Be diligent about personnel who have traveled abroad and visitors from overseas who may be carrying the disease.
* Limit traffic (people and equipment) onto the farm.
* Thoroughly clean and disinfect anything coming onto the farm, especially animal transport vehicles.
* Take care when disposing of dead stock, particularly if using a communal disposal method.
* Isolate newly arriving animals and continue vet-to-vet discussions about animal health at the herd of origin.
Saif added that swine producers are not the only ones that should be vigilant about PEDV.
“With fair season upon us, fair boards and 4-H clubs need to take precautions and monitor for the disease,” Saif said. “You will have a conglomeration of animals from many different farms coming together at one place, and people going back and forth. This could help spread the disease among pigs even further.”
--- OSU Extension