Another Reason to Not Eat Pork
Little pigs can be so cute, but they're also deadly when infected with PEDv-- which is the case for many in the U.S. today.
You might want to pass on that ham sandwich after you read this.
Pig disease outbreak continues
Nebraska is the twentieth state to be hit by the widespread and deadly pig virus according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, or PEDv, was never reported in North America until May of this year, when it was discovered here in the U.S. Since then, the virus has spread to 20 states across the country, and it's vehemently affecting a large number of young piglets-- to death.
PEDv causes diarrhea, vomiting, and severe dehydration for the little oinkers, and hog epidemiologists, veterinarians, and scientists are teaming up to figure out how and why. Go ahead and pass on that pork roast for now, as the National Pork Board has issued bio-security guidelines, urging transporters to clean, disinfect, and dry all vehicles used to transport piggies until the outbreak subsides.
Mad Cow Disease spreads
Next to pigs are cows when it comes to common farm animals. These moo-friends hit the headlines just last week with regards to the spreading of mad cow disease. It seems as though blood and organ donations could be to blame for the spread of the human form of this scary disease, commonly known as vCJD.
Scientific experts have acquired evidence that one in every 2,000 people could be silent carriers of the sickness. The incubation period can last well over 30 years, and the infectious agent responsible for mad cow disease in humans is an abnormal protein called a prion, which is present in the blood supply.
Chicken sparks salmonella outbreak
The large, late-November salmonella outbreak is not yet over. Foster Farms chicken has led to 390 more cases of sickened individuals -- 288 of whom reside in California. Health officials have reported that the remaining cases were from Oregon and Washington.
The outbreak as a whole has affected people in 23 states as well as Puerto Rico. While it is now slowing down, it is still a problem, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture threatened to shut down Foster Farms if it did not tighten its food safety controls. A whopping 40 percent of the infected individuals were hospitalized, more than doubling the usual rate. Be extra careful with your chicken consumption, apparently!