The downward trend in positive cases of PEDV in Iowa over the past 6 weeks, combined with the seasonal warming conditions. may help reduce survival and spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV). Yet the story about both prevention and treatment is still unfolding as more research projects are being studied and reviewed. Unfortunately, research has brought to light the realization that more than one PEDV strain is now present in the United States. These multiple strains and indications of a relatively short period of sow/herd immunity make the ongoing pressures of a PEDV re-break very real for many producers.

Biosecurity needs to be an ongoing effort to help minimize disease entry or spread. The actions of one affect others, thus greater community effort may reduce the potential of spreading PEDV.

Several producers and allied industry companies have initiated or stepped up biosecurity standard operating procedures (SOPs); however, not every producer, employee or company has made that commitment. The “Communication” component (giving and asking) of biosecurity SOPs continues to be a weak link between parties.

If you have a PEDV break, inform your neighbors, suppliers and vendors. This allows them to take action to limit their exposure and helps prevent the risk of becoming a vector to spread to other operations … or back to your operation in the future.

Be bold and ask vendors, suppliers and contractors who come to your production site, “What are your SOP’s to minimize PEDV spread?” This question needs to be asked of the people driving all vehicles entering the driveway, in addition to visitors, feed delivery personnel, electricians, plumbers, delivery trucks and manure haulers.

The following are some questions or discussions points: 
  • Do you know the PEDV status of your clients?
  • Does the company schedule appointments based on PEDV status?
  • What are biosecurity SOPs for employees, vehicles and equipment between farm visits/deliveries?
  • Do the people you do business with and your vendor’s employees understand “Lines of Separation?”

Production sites should be proactive to minimize entry of people, outside equipment and supplies into the site.
 • Stock on-site tools: (Have tools available on-site) Talk with electricians, plumbers, etc. for ideas about common tools/supplies used so they do not need to bring outside tools in (use their knowledge/know-how … not common tools used on other farms).
 • Invest in some equipment: Example: If one hires a custom power washing service, purchase an on-site power washer, or at least the hose and wand that can attach to their power washer to minimize outside equipment entering the buildings.
 • Parts/equipment/supplies: Have the company ship directly from the manufacturer instead of picking the items up at the store, or have items sent to the vendor to reduce the potential of PEDV contamination on-site.
 • Plan out your supply ordering to minimize the number of deliveries or store visits.

As producers and allied industry companies increase communication and biosecurity efforts during the summer, we, as an industry, can minimize the potential of spreading PEDV.

One last comment, two new tools on my suggestions list are a foaming tip for the power washer to distribute the disinfectant and a leaf blower. Clean, wash, disinfect and dry is still the process. Foaming the disinfectant can increase contact time and the leaf blower can help disperse pooled water and create air movement in cracks and pockets. PEDV likes moist/cool environments … drying is a very important step.