DES MOINES, Iowa – Communication is a major weapon against Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, the Pork Checkoff noted in its PEDv Update.

Producers need to communicate regularly with farm personnel, neighboring producers, service providers and veterinarians about any change in the PEDv status of their operations. PEDv has spread to more than 20 states, and efforts to track and contain the disease have been a challenge because PEDv is not a reportable disease.

"The stakes for communicating clearly and often are high as farms testing positive for PEDV can expect up to 100 percent losses of pigs less than three weeks old. While a positive diagnosis can be a touchy message to pass on, it's the responsible thing to do," the checkoff advised.

For example, the state Swine Health Advisory Committee in Indiana agreed to map PEDv cases by county in order to stay informed.

“We have worked to desensitize a positive (PEDv) diagnosis, so that producers are comfortable notifying neighbors,” said Bret Marsh, DVM, Indiana state veterinarian. “The point is to keep the conversation going within communities.” This allows producers throughout the state to monitor developments and increase biosecurity or take additional precautions to keep the virus out.”

The map is updated often during the winter months. Currently, 23 of Indiana’s 92 counties have reported PEDv cases, according to Marsh. But the checkoff said that local, state and national collaboration is necessary to distribute much-needed information about the spread of the disease.

“There has been unprecedented cooperation; it is remarkable how the industry has stepped up to address this disease,” Marsh said.