Pig Virus Hits Virginia, Cancels Frederick County Fair Plans

FREDERICK COUNTYVa. - The pens at the Frederick County Fair in Virginia are usually filled with the sounds of cows mooing and chickens clucking. 

However, the baby pig pens are surprisingly quiet this year. A virus targeting piglets has forced changes at fairs nationwide. 

Seven to eight million piglets have died out west, with one confirmed case in Virginia three months ago. 

It is known as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea or PED, and it is now found in 30 states. 

"Usually a pig, when he's three days old or two weeks old gets diarrhea, it's a stomach infection and it dehydrates and that's usually what makes him sick," said Tim Pugh, Frederick County Fair Swine Department. 

However, older pigs have a smaller chance of contracting the virus. 

Every year, children at the Frederick County Fair are excited for the Pig Tots Scramble, but for now it's an event that is being put on hold. 

"We did get away with Pig Scramble this year because only small pigs are infected, so the market hogs we have here usually are infected by the virus, so that's why we have the hogs here," added Pugh. 

The virus took off in May 2013 but with the warm weather in full swing, experts are hoping it will slow the spread. 

The PED virus cannot be spread to other animals or humans. Experts recommend reporting it to your state veterinarian if you hear of a local case.

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