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Background 3100 views last update:Apr 7, 2014

PEDv moving into Latin America

Europe does not seem to be too worried about Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus (PEDv). In Latin America, and especially Colombia and the Dominican Republic, however, the attitude has changed rapidly.

As David Burch wrote last Monday in his excellent blog, European worries are certainly justified as PED virus may well travel across the oceans. After all, in May 2013, the virus managed to jump from Asia to the United States as well – and was confirmed in Mexico and Canada too.

The amount of presentations at the meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians 'brought our present situation into perspective', he writes.

In the United Kingdom, the National Pig Association (NPA) has been warning of the risk of the virus entering the country since last year. The British know as in the 1970s, the country was faced with a milder version of the same virus. The NPA sums up symptoms to watch for, how the virus spreads, and what kind of treatment exists.

The rest of Europe, however, seems to be watching and prefers to look the other way as any quick search online can tell. In Germany, the virus did get a name (Durchfallvirus), but nothing else is happening than reporting on what is going on in the US. The French are keeping an eye on what is happening in Québec, but La Diarrhée Épidémique Porcine (DEP) does not seem to cause any unrest.

In this respect it is refreshing to take a look at Latin America. True, there is a direct land link – but many countries here have taken an alarmed approach. In Mexico, the disease has shown up – and it is no surprise that the countries more to the south fear what may come. La Diarrea Epidémica Porcina (DEP) is being topical in many countries. From Venezuela to Chile – and veterinarians have been invited to come to seminars to exchange information about the deadly disease.
Most reason for worries currently are in Colombia, bordering Middle America. It is feared that there the virus has already entered. As we speak, research is being performed to ascertain whether or not two cases in the departments of Huila and Cundinamarca are really DEP – or whether the country can breathe for now.

Alarm bells are certainly ringing. It may not come as a surprise, that the Colombian Association of Pork Producers (ACP) with immediate effect has urged its members to double its biosecurity standards.

But there is more. In the Dominican Republic (yes, an island!) PED virus has allegedly already been confirmed. Dr Bolívar A. Toribio Veras, director general for livestock production, warned about it some days ago as you can see on YouTube (Spanish), uploaded just under a week ago. He speaks of 'around 17 farms' being infected, involving around 8,500 dead pigs. He also called for more biosecurity.

Don't say you were not warned.

Click here to see video (Spanish)

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