WASHINGTON – A new pig virus that has killed thousands of piglets is spreading across the country and has reached North Carolina from the Midwest states. Agricultural officials say efforts are under way to keep the virus out of Virginia.
“We are not aware of any cases of it in Virginia. Now, it is a highly contagious disease so there is always a chance that we could get it,” says Elaine Lidholm, director of communications for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The virus, known as porcine epidemic diarrhea virus or PEDV, does not pose a risk to humans or to food safety and has mainly killed nursing piglets.
If the virus enters Virginia, Lidholm says it shouldn’t have as big an impact as it’s had in states with major swine farrowing or birthing operations, such as those in North Carolina.