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Outbreak keeps swine producers on alert

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May 17, 2002
By dvm360.com staff

St. Paul, Minn. - A recent pseudorabies outbreak in southwestern Minnesota has led to tighter scrutiny of herds throughout southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.

Ten Minnesota counties bordering Iowa were upgraded to Stage IV pseudorabies virus eradication (PRV), joining the rest of the state. Currently federal and state classification of pseudorabies in Stages I to V is based on slaughter checks, on-farm testing and confirmation of pseudorabies outbreaks. A state in Stage IV has no known PRV infection and no new cases confirmed within one year of application.

Despite the outbreak, the risk of PRV infection in southern Minnesota still remains low, says Dr. Paul Anderson, Minnesota Board of Animal Health Swine Division Director.

As a safeguard, local veterinarians continue to encourage vaccination of breeding herds. It's an important insurance program against big potential losses from PRV, notes Dr. Rick Sibbel, a swine veterinarian.

"Veterinarians and producers need to keep appraised of the pseudorabies situation in their area even as we work toward PRV-free status in the United States," says Sibbel. "It will be two to three years without a case of pseudorabies before there is a real lack of risk from the disease to swine herds."