WASHINGTON, D.C. (Worthy News)– Consumers in the United States are paying nearly 13 percent more for pork products than they were this time last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prices will continue to rise late into this year economists predict, due in part, to a deadly pig virus.
The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) has hit hog farms especially hard this year killing approximately seven million piglets according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The virus, first identified in May 2013, is a coronavirus affecting swine causing severe diarrhea and vomiting. While adult pigs can become infected, generally it does not result in death. However, piglets are especially vulnerable to the virus and can have a mortality rate as high as 100 percent.
While the virus is not a threat to human health, it can be devastating to hog producers.
On June 5, 2014, the USDA announced $26.2 million in funding to combat the spread of PEDv.
The funds will go towards disease surveillance measures, movement tracking, herd monitoring, and diagnostic testing to control the virus outbreak.
Some of the funding will support USDA's Agriculture Research Service (ARS) along with the National Animal Disease Center to create a new vaccine. While a vaccine was recently approved, its effectiveness has yet to be seen.