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ND latest state to confirm case of fatal swine illness

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(Reuters) — North Dakota is the latest state to confirm a case of a deadly pig virus which has killed an estimated 4 million pigs in the United States since its discovery in the spring of 2013.

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The first North Dakota case of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, or PEDv, was confirmed in the eastern part of the state this week, the North Dakota State University Extension Service said in a statement on Thursday.

Confirmed PEDv cases increased by 304 in the week of Feb. 16, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 3,856 in 25 states, according to data released on Thursday from the USDA’s National Animal Health Laboratory Network. The data did not include the North Dakota case.

The virus does not affect humans and is not a food safety risk.

Four Canadian provinces have also confirmed cases of the virus, which causes diarrhea, vomiting and severe dehydration in pigs.

While older pigs have a chance of survival, 80 to 100 percent of piglets that contract it die.

“Farms impacted by PEDv can see high mortality rates in piglets for three to five weeks, typically,” said David Newman, swine specialist at North Dakota S tate University.

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