An Associate Professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine says good management is the best defense against Post-weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome.
Post-weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome or PMWS was originally discovered about ten years ago in Western Canada and has gradually spread worldwide.
The Australian swine industry is attempting to block the import of pork from nations which have reported outbreaks.
The disease affects only pigs with the symptoms typically occurring between six weeks and 12 to 15 weeks of age.
Dr. John Harding says, while PMWS is relatively new, the pathogen responsible, porcine circovirus type 2, has been present for years and has been detected in every country in every region of the world.
The primary symptoms or clinical signs that we would see would include losing weight but also we can see difficulty breathing.
Sometimes the rate of breathing is increased but more commonly it takes just a lot of effort, as well as enlargement of the lymph nodes.
We sometimes see icterus or jaundice which means the pigs have turned yellow because we're seeing some degree of liver failure as well.
There is no one effective treatment but, in saying that, what is very very good for producers to concentrate on is just good management procedures so, with that, sanitation is important.
Control of other diseases is very important.
Proper pen density, proper air quality is important as well as timing of vaccinations to control other diseases.
Dr. Harding stresses circovirus has no effect on food safety and it can not cause disease in humans so, in spite of the fact we have the virus in the industry, it's not affecting human health in any way.