Nebraska Pig Virus Outbreak Of PEDv Killing Off Swine, May Raise Pork Prices

A Nebraska pig virus outbreak of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) is killing off pigs and could cause devastation to pork production states.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, 16,000 pigs were found floating in a Chinese river, and no one wanted to admit to the crime.

The state of Nebraska is actually the nation's sixth largest pork production state (and of course Washington, D.C. is the biggest... just making a political joke!). The USDA says that Nebraska's pig virus outbreak makes it the twentieth state affected by the deadly PEDv. Other states like Iowa, North Carolina, Minnesota, and Oklahoma have already reported at least 1,500 confirmed cases of the pig virus and these cases are projected to greatly rise in number.

The PEDv pig virus induces diarrhea, vomiting, and severe dehydration in swine. Although older pig tend to survive, baby pigs, or piglets, have a death rate varying all way from 50 percent up to 100 percent in some worst case scenarios. Unfortunately, farming conditions tend to involve small, enclosed spaces, so it's easier for the pig virus to spread.

And some experts are worried PEDv may turn into a full blown epidemic, causing a "Pigmageddon" to the swine population. In response, officials are targeting livestock transportation and are asking farmers to clean and disinfect their vehicles in order to prevent the further transmission of the deadly pig virus.

Before the Nebraska pig virus outbreak, PEDv had never been reported in North America until May. Nebraska has about 2,200 farming operations involving pork production, so experts are concerned the hog supplies will decline steeply over the 2013 winter, which could cause pork prices to rise steeply in the spring and summer of 2014.