The Huffington Post reports that a new virus threatening U.S. pigs could drive up the cost of pork products.
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PED) was first reported in April in Colorado, where producers noticed outbreaks affecting nursing pigs and piglets. Now pigs in 15 states have exhibited the virus, which can have a 100 percent mortality rate in some cases, with baby pigs being the most susceptible to the disease.
Officials say the disease is not transmissible to humans, nor should consumers worry about dangers from contaminated meat. There is however the possibility of an increase in prices of pork products should these outbreaks continue to devastate the porcine population.
The Iowa Pork Industry Center believes that the virus is transmitted by infected food or feces and can be contained by increased hygiene and quarantine of infected pigs.
It is not yet known to what extent this outbreak will affect the pork market, but officials speculate that consumers prices could rise if the virus is not contained.