FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Zoetis affirmed its commitment to finding a solution to help control the recent outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.

The devastating, costly virus has been positively identified in 17 states since April.

“As a veterinarian, I am committed to finding a solution, including quick-yielding diagnostic tools and efficacious vaccines, that can control this devastating virus,” said Dr. Michael Senn, Zoetis pork technical services manager. “We are drawing upon our global research and development resources, as well as working with health authorities and veterinary centers of excellence worldwide to identify effective solutions and help the pork industry achieve results.”

Zoetis is supporting University of Minnesota researchers to develop a rapid PEDv diagnostic test.

“Helping fund the development of the rapid diagnostic tool is just one way we are investing in and are committed to finding a solution against this virus,” said Gloria Basse, Zoetis U.S. pork business unit vice president.

“We believe that diagnostic tools and vaccines are part of the solution equation. Our research and development teams will continue to collaborate with our university and industry partners until this disease is controlled.”

PEDv, similar to transmissible gastroenteritis, can cause devastating losses up to 100 percent in infected piglets up to three weeks of age. Weaned pigs and adult pigs are at less severe risk, but they can suffer reduced growth rates.

The virus spreads rapidly through a herd via fecal-oral contamination and infects pigs within 12 to 36 hours. Until a solution is found, producers and veterinarians must remain on high alert.

“While we continue our efforts to determine the best solution to PEDv, it’s important that producers remain vigilant to their herd’s health and contact their veterinarian if they suspect abnormalities,” Senn said. “Producers should heighten their biosecurity awareness. This outbreak serves as a good reminder to review biosecurity practices with your employees, truckers and consultants who have regular contact with your farm.”

Senn suggested the following biosecurity practices shared by the American Association of Swine Veterinarians:

* Label and use chutes for loading and unloading. Use the loading chute only for animals that are leaving the farm. Healthy animals unloaded using the loading chute could be exposed to the virus;

* Wash and disinfect all unloading chutes and driver areas as often as possible. Use a 2 percent phenol-based disinfectant in the areas where drivers walk to enter the chute, from point of entry to the top and all areas where the chute contacts the truck;

* Require that all trailers used to pick up animals be cleaned and disinfected before arrival. Be sure to allow enough time for the disinfectant to dry completely before use;

* Provide coveralls and boots for employees to wear while on the farm. These materials should stay on-site and be washed routinely; and

* If a farm allows guests, provide clear direction for where they should report upon arrival. Also provide visitors with coveralls and boots before they enter any facilities.

For more information on PEDv, visit with a veterinarian. Information also is available at www.aasv.org.