Deadly Virus Killing Pigs by the Millions

A new epidemic that is taking the U.S. by storm has resulted in the deaths of more than 8 million pigs. Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDv, first showed up in the United States in 2013, and it has been wreaking havoc ever since.

The virus is 100 percent lethal for piglets two to three weeks old, and it takes the lives of an estimated 100,000 pigs each week, according to a report by The New York Times.

Joelle Hayden, a spokeswoman for the USDA, said that "it is a particularly persistent virus, and it can survive long periods in less-than-ideal environments," such as factory farm environments.

The virus is also taking a toll on the planet and environmental groups are concerned about how burying so many carcasses will affect the groundwater.

Infected pigs cannot be buried on farms due to the risk of spreading disease, so dead pigs are being buried in the ground along coastal waterways where the groundwater level is high.

While the virus itself cannot be transmitted to humans, the corpses can become hosts for bacteria and other pathogens.

Thankfully, the dangers of pork consumption can be avoided by eating a healthy vegetarian diet. Check out for more information.
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