As if the pork industry didn’t already have enough on it’s plate in the way of industry challenges, the USDA has now confirmed that cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus has been identified in the United States for the first time. Testing at the National Veterinary Service Laboratory found that PEDV, which causes diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration in hogs, was evident in Iowa and Indiana herds. The total scope of the outbreak is not yet clear, but officials with the USDA and representatives with the National Pork Board want to assure consumers that this is not a food safety issue - that the disease only affects pigs and does not pose a risk to other animals or people. The swine only disease was identified in China, England, Japan and South Korea as far back as the 1970’s. To date, there is no effective treatment for PEDV other than plenty of TLC and making sure pigs affected have adequate water to combat dehydration. Producers and veterinarians will be working together with the USDA to monitor and manage the situation, while investigations continue into the cause of the outbreak. Again, officials stress that pork safety is not affected by the virus and that pork remains completely safe for human consumption.