Supplement to The Preston Citizen • May 2014 Edition The Seamons family in Whitney raises pigs and has set up security measures to protect them from disease. Pig disease impacts producers Virus not a health risk to humans By ROBERT S. MERRILL Assistant editor A relatively new pig disease to the U.S. has killed an estimated one million pigs since it was confirmed in Iowa one year ago. The disease is known as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus and has spread to at least 30 states. Some of these states are close to Idaho and because of the threat of infection, the annual 4-H pig weigh-in for this summer’s Franklin County Fair was recently cancelled. The clinical signs of the disease are very age-specific, according to information from the University of Idaho. Officials there say the disease is much more severe in younger animals. In suckling pigs, less than seven days old, there is profuse, watery diarrhea, which is often yellow in color. In many cases, the pigs also vomit, lose appetite, become dehydrated and die. The report states the disease generally affects entire litters and up to 100 percent of the litter may die. Pigs over a week of age typically recover. PEDv is a virus. There is no vaccination against it yet, with an almost 100 percent mortality rate in preweaned pigs that contract it, said Ashley Seamons, of Seamons Family Showpigs of Franklin County. She said the virus needs cold to survive, so the summer heat should slow down the spread of PEDv. The Idaho Department of Agriculture said this week there were three confirmed cases of PEDv in Idaho, none in Franklin County. It is a new virus to the state of Idaho, according to the department. “PEDv definitely has affected Seamons Family Showpigs operations. We had 55 piglets ready for our 4-H customers this spring that we wanted to make sure remained healthy. We were concerned that our buyers could unknowingly bring the virus to our place, so we had them wear disposable plastic boots to limit that possibility,” she said. “We were very lucky to not have any problems at our place this year. We received phone calls from people in Wyoming wanting piglets because their regular breeders had lost so many of theirs.” Seamons’ operation is in the Whitney area. Family members have raised hogs for many years. The family has raised them together for the last 10 years, she said. “We will take similar precautions to protect our herd in August when our next batch of piglets will be ready for sale,” she said. PEDv has been relatively common in Asia and Europe since the 1970s. The first case in the U.S. appeared in Iowa last May. It is also reported in California, Oregon and Montana. Recent reports reveal the Citizen photos by RODNEY D. BOAM disease has killed an estimated one Chloe Seamons, 4, and her sister, Allie, 2, stand by a sign asking peomillion pigs in the U.S. ple to check in before entering the pig operation in Whitney. Visitors are No specific treatment is available asked to put on plastic, sterile boots before going into the livestock area (See PIGS on page 2) on the farm.