The disease Strep zoo has been found in Pennsylvania swine.
PennAg Industries Association sent out a disease alert on Christmas Eve, saying the disease was found after an ailing cull sow died at a livestock market.
USDA, state and industry personnel have been working on traceback to find other pigs and facilities the dead pig encountered.
Clinical signs of the disease include sudden lethargy, weakness and high fever. The disease can spread quickly among pigs, and mortality can rapidly climb to 30 to 50%.
Deaths associated with Strep zoo had not been reported until recently, according to the PennAg bulletin. The disease has been found in Ohio, North Carolina and a few other states, as well as Canada.
The Pennsylvania Ag Department has designated Strep zoo as a dangerous transmissible disease, which allows the agency to monitor it.
Strep zoo &tstr; its full name is Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus &tstr; can spread to other species, including humans.
The pathogen rarely sickens people, but it can cause severe illness or death. People can be exposed via contact with livestock, dogs or cats, and the drinking of raw milk.
To prevent infection on the farm, PennAg recommends farmers follow biosecurity protocols, paying particular attention to hauling procedures.
If you suspect the disease in your herd, call your veterinarian or the state Ag Department at 717-772-2852, pressing option 1 to reach the veterinarian on call.