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Pig Farmers Concerned Over Spreading Disease
Updated: Tuesday, July 16 2013, 05:29 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (CBS 2/ FOX 28)-- For the past few months, Heidi Vittetoe has been keeping close watch of her pigs.
"We've stepped up our practices," Vittetoe said.
She's trying to keep her livestock free of a virus spreading fast across the Midwest-- PEDV.
"If they have exposure on a Thursday for example, you're going to see sick pigs by Saturday," Vittetoe said.
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus can be fatal in piglets, causing dehydration.
Even though it's not airborne, it can spread easily by coming into contact with infected pig manure.
"It only takes one breach to introduce PED if you've been exposed to it," Vittetoe said.
So far seven hog farms in Iowa - which is the country's leading pork producer - have been confirmed.
"It's an economic loss, it's a chaos maker," Vittetoe said.
That's why she’s has enforced some serious safety rules.
All employees or anyone who steps inside the farm has to wear blue gloves and spray down with disinfectant.
Because the virus spreads quickly, if one mother pig gets infected, her piglets and the entire barn would be infected too.
And even though none of Vittetoe’s pigs have the virus - she'd rather be safe than sorry.