SECD (Swine Enteric Coronavirus Disease)

Since 2 separate but related viruses have been identified during this outbreak…

  • PEDV – porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, and
  • PDCoV – porcine deltacorona virus

…they have been rolled together for ease of conversation into what is being referred to as SECD. (All that info above was just so we could know which one we were talking about! And we haven’t even touched on the differences in the lab or in the pig on the farm!)

But this post is about what the current situation is rather than to talk molecular biology. Or to sum it up and as I heard recently one swine vet had proclaimed, “this is teaching us a lot about more than what we thought we knew about bio-security.”

There are reams of data being recorded and subsequently reported. Please keep in mind that quantity and quality are separate issues. Because of the volume of data, here’s the link to UDSA APHIS VS SECD page. There are links on that page to much more details such as weekly reports and maps. But here’s the latest map of cumulative instances.


An important point to keep in mind regarding these viruses – they do not survive well in hot, dry environments. There’s another big advantage to living in the Sonoran Desert.

Here is some information from a USDA APHIS announcement about the federal response to this situation:

APHIS announced the availability of $26.2 million in funding to combat these diseases and issued a Federal Order requiring the reporting of new detections of PEDv and other new swine enteric coronavirus disease to APHIS or State animal health officials. The Federal Order also requires that operations reporting these viruses work with their veterinarian, USDA or State animal health officials to develop and implement a reasonable management plan to address the detected virus and prevent its spread.

Arizona has been granted funds through this program to assist with improving bio-security through education of veterinarians and producers along with conducting surveillance around the state to detect the disease. We have just gotten started with this effort. Please let us hear from you if you have ideas how we may be able to help.

Thanks for your time. And enjoy the ride!


Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Continues to Spread

Here’s a quick VSV Update. So far the disease has stayed within the boundaries of TX and CO.

Here are excerpts from the latest USDA APHIS VS Situation Report (2014-08-06)

  • 110 Positive Premises in 2 states (TX, CO)
    • 41 in TX (Counties of: Bastrop, Falls, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Kinney, Nueces, San Patrico, Travis, Val Verde)
      • All Equine Except 2 Cattle on 1 Premises
    • 69 in CO (Counties of: Adams, Boulder, Douglas, El Paso, Larimer, Weld)
      • All Equine Except 1 Head of Cattle on 1 Premises

2014-08-06 VSV Map

More details can be found on USDA APHIS VS Vesicular Stomatitis Virus web page.

Beware of Chikungunya!

What in the world is Chikungunya?  Glad you asked! It is a disease caused by a virus that is spread by mosquitos. Yep, those same pests that can give you West Nile Virus (WNV) or any of a number of Equine Encephalitidies (Eastern (EEE) and Western (WEE)) viruses have found a way to bring a virus from Africa to the Western Hemisphere.  In fact, Chikungunya is in the same viral family as WNV, EEE and WEE.

First, say it with me, Chik – un- goon – ye. This virus has nothing to do with chickens, it only infects people and non-human primates, like monkeys.  The name Chikungunya comes from an African language and the word means “that which bends up”.  This refers to the stooped over posture of ill people due to severe joint pain.

Chikungunya was first discovered in Tanganyika along the east coast of Africa in 1952.  The virus spread into India and SE Asia in 2005.  The only way Americans could catch Chikungunya was to travel internationally and get bit by a mosquito in those areas.  From 2005 to 2012, an average of 28 US citizens would become ill with Chikungunya. Late in 2013, people started getting sick in the Caribbean Islands and Chikungunya was the cause.   However, since the outbreak (100,000+ cases and still counting) in the Caribbean, 601 Americans (including 11 from AZ) have become ill with Chikungunya after returning from trips to the Caribbean.  This past week, three people in Florida have become infected without travel outside of the US!

Symptoms will develop 3-7 days after an infected mosquito bite.  The symptoms include headache, fever, muscle aches, but the most debilitating symptom is severe joint pain.  No vaccine exists and there is no specific treatment.  Thankfully, Chikungunya is rarely fatal, but folks who contract the illness will need to rest in bed for 7-14 days.  Anyone with these symptoms after a trip to the Caribbean, Africa or SE Asia should see their doctor for confirmation.

The main way to avoid the bug is to “Fight the Bite”. You can do this by reducing the chances of being bitten by an infected mosquito.  Protect yourself with longs sleeves and bug repellent spray.  Avoid working outdoors at dawn or dusk.  This is the time of day when mosquitoes are most active.  Finally, the recent monsoon rains have created lots of shallow pools where mosquitoes like to lay their eggs.  Draining any water that is collected around your property is the key to reduce mosquito reproduction.

Since December 2013, over 400,000 people in the Caribbean have suffered from Chikungunya.  The biggest fear is that an infected person will come home with Chikungunya and the virus gets established in AZ mosquitoes.  This could result in millions of infected people in the state.   So be safe out there!