Viral Corner

What is happening in the area today in regards to viral threats to our industry? Those major viruses being PRRSv, Swine Influenza Type A virus (IAV-S) and Swine Coronavirus (PEDv, Delta).

PRRSv: If you have been hit with PRRSv this year, it has been a struggle cleaning up. Most people were hit with a strain 1-7-4. This struck many farms causing sow mortality, abortion storms, and reproductive failure. The industry has been moving toward testing of piglets at a younger age to determine time to stability at birth. Upon knowing this, some wean down techniques have been implemented to try and clean the virus up in a more timely manner. We have seen that the sow unit environment has played an important role in clean up time. Important areas to monitor are farrowing room hygiene, castration/tail docking equipment management, how often needles are changed, and how piglet mortalities are disposed of, to name a few. The next page provides a graph showing the trend of PRRS.

Graph courtesy of Swine Health Monitoring Project, UMN
Graph courtesy of Swine Health Monitoring Project, UMN

IAV-S (Influenza Type A virus – Swine): Flu has not gone away and during this time of year, it likes to spread. IAV-S causes high fevers, mortality in grow-to-finish pigs and on sow farms can cause high fevers, sows to be off feed, and low conception rates. Vaccinations are available and commonly used to limit the risk of outbreaks. For sow units that are vaccinating, fall is an ideal time to get this done. Please talk with your Four Star veterinarian on vaccination programs that best fit your operation.

Swine Coronaviruses: What is going to happen this winter with PEDv and SDCv? No one knows the answer, but we all hope it is similar to last winter and not the winter of 2013-2014.

Graph courtesy of AASV.org website
Graph courtesy of AASV.org website

Some of these cooler nights lead you to believe that fall and therefore winter is on its way. The above mentioned viruses do tend to increase in winter time due to increased survivability in cold temperatures. It has been shown that PRRS season begins to reach epidemic threshold in October/November and spikes in January/February. PEDv shows a similar trend. Please consider reviewing your whole-herd vaccination strategies for these viruses. As we head in to winter, it is also important to review biosecurity protocols. Remember that during cold months it is more difficult to properly disinfect trucks and trailers due to freezing temperatures, but there are products such as antifreeze that can be used to help lower the freezing point on these disinfectants. Please remind all employees of biosecurity practices this fall and as always, their importance.