During the ongoing surveillance activities being conducted in partnership between the Alberta government and the pork industry, swine delta coronavirus (SDCV) has been detected on a few samples from pig-handling facilities in Alberta. The environmental samples were not taken from farms or sick animals. There are no reported cases of SDCV in pigs in Alberta.
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) is working closely with the pork industry to investigate any situations that arise and to keep producers informed. Together, we have been preparing for the possibility of PED or SDCV. A plan is in place to reduce the risk of the spread of the diseases, investigate and manage the situations.
The positive tests serve as a reminder to producers that any high pig-traffic site or vehicle could potentially be contaminated with SDCV and/or PED virus, 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 cleaning and disinfecting load-out areas and requiring clean boots and clothing for all barn visitors, should also be strictly enforced.
Contact your veterinarian if you have questions about biosecurity for your premises.
What is SDCV?
Swine delta coronavirus (SDCV) is a new virus first found in pigs in Hong Kong in 2012. The second report of this virus was in the United States in February 2014. It was confirmed in Ontario in March 2014. SDCV is from the same family of viruses as the swine diseases porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) and transmissible gastro enteritis (TGE).
Can humans or other animals get SDCV? No.
Is it safe to eat pork from farms infected by SDCV?
Yes. There is no risk to food safety or human health.
What are the symptoms of SDCV infection?
SDCV has been reported to be similar to PED and TGE. It causes diarrhea and vomiting in all age groups and mortality in nursing pigs. Mortality rates appear to be lower than in cases of PED.
How is SDCV spread?
Because SDCV is a new disease, there is not a lot of experience or research on the disease and how it spreads. As the disease is similar to PED, we believe it is prevented and managed in the same ways as PED.
Is there treatment or a vaccine?
There is no treatment or effective vaccine for SDCV.
What happens if SDCV is found in Alberta, and how can it be prevented from spreading?
SDCV is a reportable disease in Alberta and would be responded to in the same way as PED. All suspected and confirmed cases must be reported to the Chief Provincial Veterinarian.