© 2023 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri, Harvest covers agriculture-related topics through a network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.

Researcher: Pig Virus Can Survive In Contaminated Animal Feed

100715_MEATANTIBIOTICS_piglets.jpg
Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media
/

Hog farmers still battling a disease that has caused over a billion dollars in damages are coming to better understand how the virus arrived in North America.

The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, or PED, outbreak began in spring 2013 and evidence suggests the virus originated in China. Its global spread was a mystery, but some veterinarians saw a possible link to feed. Now, researcher Scott Dee says he’s shown imported ingredients may have given the virus a ride here from China.

"Contaminated feed ingredients, if they're the right ones, could have certainly supported virus survival throughout this entire 37-day trip," Dee says. 

Dee says he hopes his findings will lead to more research on animal diseases that have not yet arrived here from other continents.

Amy Mayer is a reporter based in Ames. She covers agriculture and is part of the Harvest Public Media collaboration. Amy worked as an independent producer for many years and also previously had stints as weekend news host and reporter at WFCR in Amherst, Massachusetts and as a reporter and host/producer of a weekly call-in health show at KUAC in Fairbanks, Alaska. Amy’s work has earned awards from SPJ, the Alaska Press Club and the Massachusetts/Rhode Island AP. Her stories have aired on NPR news programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition and on Only A Game, Marketplace and Living on Earth. She produced the 2011 documentary Peace Corps Voices, which aired in over 160 communities across the country and has written for The New York Times, Boston Globe, Real Simple and other print outlets. Amy served on the board of directors of the Association of Independents in Radio from 2008-2015.