JOPLIN, Mo. – A fast-spreading virus that can kill 80 percent of the piglets that contract it is rapidly spreading across Missouri hog farms and is expected to cause an increase in pork prices this summer.
In some cases, entire nurseries in Missouri containing thousands of piglets have been wiped out.
The Joplin Globe reports (http://bit.ly/1fhL44A ) that porcine epidemic diarrhea has killed 4 million to 5 million pigs nationwide, or about 4 percent of the pigs that would go to market later this year,
A swine specialist at the University of Missouri says the first case in Missouri was reported in the northwest in December. Marcia Shannon says since then, the virus has spread quickly, especially north of Interstate 70.
Shannon says any of the 3,000 farms in Missouri with pigs is susceptible.
Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com