The executive director of the US based Swine Health Information Center warns, as natural immunity to Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, resulting from previous exposure dissipates, the risk of the virus spreading will increase, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Since peaking in March 2014, there’s been a steady decline in the number of farms in the United States infected by Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea.
Dr Paul Sundberg, the executive director of the Swine Health Information Center, says one of the reason is that as the virus went through the production units in the US it did cause infection and that causes a natural level of immunity so we have less susceptible animals.
Dr Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
We don’t know what the winter’s going to hold for us.
We do know from our research that we can expect that the immunity from natural infection is not long lasting so a sow herd or even a finisher or any farm that’s gone through an infection recently very well may have susceptible animals that show up as early as 4 to 6 months after a natural infection.
We expect that we have an increased number of susceptible animals out in the countryside right now.
What we’ve been trying to do is communicate to producers and veterinarians the need to be vigilant, the need to keep those biosecurity practices in place because we can’t assume that PED went through the wave of the countryside and is going to be gone.
It very well may come back.
We don’t know exactly how that’s going to happen yet this winter of course but we’re dong some planning with biosecurity updates and updates about enhancements that we hope will get us through this winter at a continued low level.
Dr Sundberg says we know there’s live virus in the countryside and we expect the number of susceptible animals is increasing and that means that we have to be absolutely vigilant about biosecurity.