Virus deadly to piglets; harmless to humans now in four Canadian provinces

A virulent virus that has decimated pig herds in the United States continues to pick up steam in Canada. Quebec confirmed on Sunday that it has now detected a case of porcine epidemic diarrhea or PED, which is almost always fatal in piglets, at a farm in the Montérégie region south of Montreal. The farm is now under quarantine.

“All means are being taken to limit the spread of the virus and we continue to monitor the situation closely in the province of Quebec,” Michel Major, Quebec’s chief veterinarian said in a statement. “We must remain vigilant and ensure that strict biosecurity measures are applied by carriers, slaughterhouses, producers and all stakeholders.”

The first Canadian case of PED popped up in Ontario in January, spread and then went onto to surface in Manitoba and Prince Edward Island. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency stepped in and began to investigate whether swine feed could be a source and the federal government is granting emergency access to farmers for a vaccine for their hog herds.

“As this is a new virus to North America, there is no immunity in any Canadian swine herd,” according to the Canadian Swine Health Board.

While the virus is a death sentence for young pigs – and as its name suggests, is incredibly messy – it is harmless to people. It was first detected in the United States in May, 2013 and has spread to at least 23 states.

h/t CBC Photo Facebook/Association of Filipino Pig Farm Workers in Ontario Canada 

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