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Manitoba sees first case of pig virus; no risk to humans, other animals

Pigs are pictured at a barn at an Ontario farm. Officials in Ontario have confirmed multiple cases of a highly contagious pig virus that has ravaged herds across the United States.

HANDOUT/THE CANADIAN PRESS

It appears a deadly and contagious pig virus has hit a Manitoba farm.

The Chief Veterinary Office of Manitoba is reporting positive samples of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus from pigs on a weaned-to-finish farm.

The office doesn't say where the farm is.

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The samples have been sent to the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg for confirmation.

Officials stress that there is no risk to human health or food safety.

Ontario, which was the first province to report a case of PED on Jan. 22, has 12 confirmed cases.

"The site has been contained and neighbours in the area are being contacted by veterinarians," Karl Kynoch, chairman of Manitoba Pork, said in a news release Thursday night.

"All steps are being taken to contain the virus on the farm and an investigation has been initiated."

The virus is highly contagious, so it's crucial producers maintain strict biosecurity protocols and contact a veterinarian immediately if they see animals showing signs of illness.

"Strict biosecurity practices can reduce the potential for outbreaks," says Kynoch. "All trucks and trailers coming onto your site must be properly washed and disinfected. It is your responsibility to make sure that all trailers are clean before they back up to your barn."

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PED virus has already killed millions of piglets in the U.S.

The virus is fatal for very young pigs while most older pigs recover.

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