- Associated Press - Saturday, March 29, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont has seen its first case of a swine virus spreading across the country that kills nearly all the young pigs that catch it, said the Vermont Agency of Agriculture.

The first case of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus was confirmed in a swine operation in Rutland County on March 26, the agency said.

The porcine virus does not make people sick and it does not affect other species of livestock. It does not affect pork safety and pork remains completely safe to eat.

The most common sign of the virus is severe diarrhea. It kills nearly all un-weaned pigs that catch it. Older pigs generally survive, but they can shed the virus for an extended period.

“Farmers should take steps to minimize the chance of introducing (the virus) into their herds,” said state veterinarian Kristin Haas. “Swine owners should consult with their veterinarians to develop disease prevention plans tailored to their swine herd needs.”

The virus was first detected in the United States about a year ago. Since then it has been reported at more than 4,000 premises in 27 states.

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