The presence of the new to the United States, and extremely lethal virus to piglets, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) has prompted Acting New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball and State Veterinarian Dr. David Smith to suspend the Sows and Piglets exhibit and competition and at the 2014 Great New York State Fair in Syracuse this summer.
“The health and safety of all livestock at the 2014 Fair is of paramount importance,” said Acting Commissioner Ball. “We understand that some fairgoers may be disappointed, but we want the Fair to continue to show off the best in New York agriculture and we need to do so in the best possible way to protect the well-being of the animals in our care.”
“Fairs in general are a challenging environment in terms of animal disease control, and a lack of vaccine that’s been proven effective against PED makes the risk for piglets too high this year,” said Dr. Smith. “Animals come to the Fair from all over the state and with a disease like PED circulating, it’s in the best interests of the animals that we take this action.” For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.
PEDv has killed more than six million young pigs since first being identified in the United States a year ago. More than 4,000 outbreaks have been seen in at least 30 U.S. states as well as Canada. It is now reported to have reached Mexico. When sows and litters become infected, PED kills nearly 100% of piglets less than 10 days old, while pigs older than 10 days tend to recover.
Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus is a disease occurring only in pigs, caused by a coronavirus that does exactly what the disease name implies: produces acute and severe outbreaks of diarrhea that rapidly transmits among all ages of pigs (epidemic).
Huge numbers of virus particles are shed in feces. One thimble-full of feces could contain enough virusto infect all the pigs in the United States. PED cannot be transmitted to humans and does not affect food safety.
This year’s fair runs from Aug. 21 through Sept. 1 just outside Syracuse.