Description

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) is a highly contagious, viral disease of pigs

PED causes severe diarrhea, vomiting and death in suckling piglets, and milder diarrhea in older pigs. Only swine are affected, including wild boar, warthogs and other wild pigs.

On farms that are only growing market hogs, PED causes mild diarrhea that resolves within a few days. These pigs rarely die from the disease but can take longer to reach market weight.

Farms that have sows and piglets are severely affected as up to 100% of the nursing piglets may die over a 3- to 5-week period, until the herd develops immunity. The virus can be eliminated from the farm through a comprehensive program based on strict biosecurity.

For current reports on PED in Alberta, see PED Status and updates.

If you suspect PED in your herd, call your veterinarian within 24 hours.

PED in pigs and boars is a provincially reportable disease under Alberta's Animal Health Act. Immediate action is required to control or eradicate it.

How to report

If PED is suspected or confirmed in your herd, call your veterinarian immediately.

Veterinarians must report all suspected or confirmed cases to the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian (OCPV) within 24 hours:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-3448
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
After business hours: 1-800-524-0051
Fax: 780-415-0810

Clinical signs

PED causes diarrhea and vomiting in pigs of all ages, but is most severe in nursing piglets. Death rates in piglets may be as high as 80% to 100% over 3 to 5 weeks.

Signs in older pigs can be very mild. Older pigs recover, but take longer to get to market.

Where it’s found

PED was first reported in North America in 2013 in the United States, in 2014 in Canada, and 2019 in Alberta. The strain of the virus is from China where the disease is widespread.

How it spreads

PEDPED is spread by moving infected pigs or their feces. Trucks contaminated by pig manure are believed to be the most common way the virus spreads. Trucks can become contaminated in high-traffic areas such as assembly yards and slaughter plants. PED virus can also be spread through contaminated feed, clothing, boots, equipment, and other fomites.

Risk to humans

There is no known risk to human health from PED. PED does not affect food safety, public health, or other types of animals.

Prevention and control

If you suspect PED in your herd, stop all animal movements immediately and call your veterinarian. It is important to respond quickly to stop the spread of the disease. Any sudden onset of unusual diarrhea should be investigated immediately by a veterinarian.

Biosecurity

Biosecurity refers to practices designed to prevent, reduce or eliminate the introduction and spread of disease. Biosecurity practices tailored to each operation minimize the introduction and transmission of disease. Find out more about farm biosecurity plans and best practices, see Biosecurity and livestock – Overview.

To help prevent the spread of PED, producers need to work with their veterinarian to develop and maintain good biosecurity practices around truck and pig movement for their farm. Close attention should be paid to keeping pig trucks clean, especially those trucks that may have been toplaces that have the virus. Transportation companies can work with producers and their veterinarians to develop good biosecurity protocols around transporting hogs, including truck washing and keeping drivers’ boots clean.

As an added measure, producers can wash personal vehicles when returning from locations where hog manure may be present. PED will survive in manure that is frozen or dirty wash water frozen on a truck. This is why PED tends to spread more in the winter months.

Carcass disposal

The Destruction and Disposal of Dead Animals Regulation requires that animals that have died from a reportable disease must be disposed of in accordance with the direction of an Agriculture and Forestry veterinary inspector. Natural disposal must not be used.

See also Livestock mortality management.

PED Resources

Alberta Pork – Swine Health Toolkit

Canadian Food Inspection Agency PED situation

Manitoba Pork

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Ontario Pork

University of Minnesota's Swine Disease Eradication Center

PED Status and updates

  • January 27, 2020

    A sample collected by Alberta’s environmental surveillance program has tested weak positive for PED

    There have been no new cases of PED in Alberta and no positive results from an Alberta farm. We are working closely with Alberta Pork, producers and industry partners. For more information, visit Alberta Pork.

    In Alberta, PED is a provincially reportable disease, which means that producers or veterinarians must notify the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian of all suspected or confirmed cases. There is no human health risk with PED. PED is a highly contagious, viral disease in pigs. It causes severe diarrhea and death in suckling pigs and milder diarrhea in older pigs. Any sudden onset of unusual diarrhea should be investigated immediately by a veterinarian.

    If you suspect your pigs may be infected, contact your veterinarian or the Office of Alberta’s Chief Provincial Veterinarian at 780-427-3448.

  • March 18, 2019

    A fourth case of PED has been confirmed in Alberta

    The farm is working closely with their veterinarian, Alberta Pork and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry to contain the disease.

    All producers in Alberta are advised to increase their biosecurity.

    If you suspect your pigs may be infected, contact your veterinarian or the Office of Alberta’s Chief Provincial Veterinarian.

  • March 4, 2019

    Third case of PED deemed to be a false positive

    After additional investigation and testing, the third case of PED reported in Alberta has been determined to be a false positive.

    Investigation into possible explanations around these results is underway.

    The fourth case of PED remains confirmed as positive with clinical signs apparent on the farm.

    As of March 4, 2019, 3 cases of PED have been confirmed in Alberta:

    • January 7
    • February 21
    • March 1
  • March 1, 2019

    A third and fourth case of PED has been confirmed in Alberta

    The farm has stopped movement of all pigs, full bio-containment has been implemented and it is working closely with their veterinarian, Alberta Pork and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry to contain the disease.

    All producers in Alberta are advised to increase their biosecurity at this time.

  • February 21, 2019

    A second case of PED has been confirmed

    The producer and the herd veterinarian are working closely with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Alberta Pork and their processor.

    Pig traffic to and from the site has been stopped and enhanced biosecurity is being implemented. An investigation into the source of the virus has begun.

    In Alberta, PED is a provincially reportable disease, which means that producers or veterinarians must notify the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian of all suspected or confirmed cases. There is no human health risk with PED.

    PED is a highly contagious, viral disease in pigs. PED causes severe diarrhea and death in suckling pigs and milder diarrhea in older pigs. Any sudden onset of unusual diarrhea should be investigated immediately by a veterinarian.

    We do not expect any market access implications as a result of this finding.

    If you suspect your pigs may be infected, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

    If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Office of Alberta's Chief Provincial Veterinarian at 780-427-3448.

  • February 7, 2019

    PED update

    Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, in partnership with Alberta Pork, continues to investigate the first case of PED in Alberta. The latest information continues to suggest that the incident is limited to one farm with no evidence of spread off of the farm. Samples from the environmental sampling surveillance program at high-swine traffic sites continue to be negative for PED.

    The pork industry in Alberta is to be commended for their biosecurity efforts, which have kept this disease contained to one farm. However, as has been stated long prior to this detection, it's important to keep up those biosecurity practices and consider that at any time, any high-swine traffic site could be positive.

    The investigation into possible sources continues, but, as in previous outbreaks, there may be an inability to definitively identify a source.

    At this point, animals have still not left the farm since detection of the disease. Several visits have taken place by the herd veterinarian and ministry veterinarians and all animals are in good condition with sufficient space. Animals were also observed for ongoing signs of illness and sampling is being conducted to determine whether the animals are still infectious. Based on results obtained thus far, supervised animal shipments may resume in the coming week with negligible risk of disease spread or concern for welfare during transportation.

    The ongoing support of all stakeholders is appreciated as we continue to work together towards resolving this incident for the best interest of all producers and industry partners.

  • January 15, 2019

    PED update

    On January 7, 2019, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry confirmed the first-ever case of PED in Alberta.

    Since then, the farm and the farm veterinarian have worked closely with Alberta Pork and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry to manage the disease. Enhanced biosecurity measures are in place for the entire premises to reduce the risk of the virus leaving the site. Since the finding was confirmed, no pigs from the affected farm have been marketed to slaughter or assembly sites in Alberta and there are no plans to do so.

    The investigation is ongoing. All pig traffic in and out of the site has been traced and no transport links have been identified as potential sources. All environmental surveillance testing from high-traffic pig sites in Alberta, such as assembly sites, abattoirs and truck washes, are still negative.

    To date, no other cases of PED have been identified in Alberta.

    Alberta Agriculture and Forestry will continue to work with Alberta Pork, pork producers, swine veterinarians, and other pork industry stakeholders to investigate this case and prevent further spread of the virus.

    If you suspect your pigs may be infected, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

    If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Office of Alberta's Chief Provincial Veterinarian at 780-427-3448.

  • January 7, 2019

    A case of PED has been confirmed

    In Alberta, PED is a provincially reportable disease, which means that producers or veterinarians must notify the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian of all suspected or confirmed cases. There is no human health risk with PED.

    PED is a highly contagious, viral disease of pigs that has not previously been detected in Alberta. PED causes severe diarrhea and death in suckling pigs and milder diarrhea in older pigs. Any sudden onset of unusual diarrhea should be investigated immediately by a veterinarian.

    It has been detected in other provinces including Ontario and Manitoba as well as several states in the United States. For the past 5 years, the Alberta government and its stakeholders have successfully kept this disease out of Alberta.

    Alberta Agriculture and Forestry will continue to work with Alberta Pork, pork producers, swine veterinarians, and other pork industry stakeholders to investigate this case and prevent further spread of the virus.

    We do not expect any market access implications as a result of this finding.

    If you suspect your pigs may be infected, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

    If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Office of Alberta's Chief Provincial Veterinarian at 780-427-3448.

  • October 29, 2014

    PED virus detected at pig-handling facility in Alberta

    During the ongoing surveillance activities being conducted in partnership between the Alberta government and the pork industry, the PED virus has been detected at a pig-handling facility in Alberta. This environmental sample was not taken from a farm or a sick animal. There are no reported cases of PED in pigs in Alberta.

    The positive sample was taken from an office space. Other samples taken in high pig-traffic areas at the same site, such as the loading dock and scales, came back negative.

    Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development is working closely with the facility and the pork industry to investigate the situation and to keep producers informed. Together with the pork industry, we have been preparing for the possibility of PED. A plan is in place to reduce the risk of the spread of the disease, investigate and manage the situation.

    This positive test serves as a reminder to producers that any high pig-traffic site or vehicle could potentially be contaminated with PED or Swine delta coronavirus, at any time. Producers must work closely with their livestock hauler to ensure all trucks are cleaned, disinfected and dried every time before entering a farm.

    Other biosecurity measures, such as requiring clean boots and clothing for all barn visitors and cleaning and disinfecting load-out areas, should also be strictly enforced.

    Contact your veterinarian if you have questions about biosecurity for your premises.

  • January 20, 2014

    Notice for veterinarians and pork producers

    PED is a highly contagious, viral disease of pigs that does not currently occur in Alberta, but is present in the United States. PED causes severe diarrhea and death in suckling pigs and milder diarrhea in older pigs. Any sudden onset of unusual diarrhea should be investigated immediately by a veterinarian.

    Due to the economic harm that it could cause to the pork industry if it spreads to Alberta, effective January 20, 2014, I am declaring PED as a reportable disease in the Province of Alberta under the authority of Section 3(b) of the Animal Health Act.

    As of January 20, 2014, all known or suspect cases of PED occurring in Alberta must be reported to the Chief Provincial Veterinarian within 24 hours. Contact 780-427-3448 during regular business hours or after hours to report.

    Transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE) causes very similar symptoms to PED. It is also reportable in Alberta, although there will be no government response to TGE cases. Lab testing is necessary to confirm the presence of either TGE or PED.

    Making PED a reportable disease will help minimize the risk of the disease becoming established in Alberta. The Alberta response will be guided by the Alberta Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea and Transmissible Gastroenteritis Disease Control Plan. In accordance with this plan, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development will provide support to the industry by:

    • testing samples for PED at our lab
    • coordinating the Alberta response for the first few cases, if PED is found in the province
    • communicating with stakeholders
    • working with local veterinarians to provide advice on implementation of biosecurity and disease control measures for affected premises

    Because PED does not affect food safety, public health, or other types of animals, the plan does not call for quarantining farms or placing movement controls. The Alberta government will not pay compensation for disease control measures or losses associated with the disease.

    If you would like a copy of the plan or have any questions, contact the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian at 780-427-3448.