A new pig virus may cause the price of bacon to soar. Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) is a newer swine disease that first entered the United States in May 2013.

PEDV has now it is taken a toll on farmers and hog producers to the tune of an estimated 5 million deaths of baby pigs and young pigs up to about three weeks of age. An infected swine herd can suffer a 75-100% loss in 4 or 5 weeks. PEDV posses no threat to humans, or has no food safety impact on retail pork supplies.

As of March, 12, the National Animal Health Laboratory Network reports 4,458 confirmed cases of PEDV in the USA. There is at least one confirmed case in each of 27 states. Iowa, the largest pork producing state, has the most confirmed cases with 1,521, followed by Minnesota and then North Carolina. The top 10 states in pork production account for over 85% of all the PEDV cases in the US.

The causes and spread of PEDV are still largely unknown, and there are currently no known vaccines to prevent the initial occurrence of PEVD virus.

The PEDV is effecting the hog markets, cause a rise in prices and cost of production. With the loss of production hogs, consumers will likely see an increase in retail prices of pork and pork products as well as a limit on product availability this spring and summer.

 Participating Contributor: Liz Brown