PED Virus

File: Peter Gray / Harvest Public Media

Hog farmers are now required to report outbreaks of certain viral diseases that have spread across the country during the past year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Frank Morris / KCUR

A virus new to the United States is spreading through farms hundreds of thousands of baby pigs.  

Like most hog farmers, Brent Sandidge in Missouri, has been losing money lately.

"We’ve had a drought, and record high feed prices, so that’d be the last thing you’d need is another hit," says Sandidge.

But that hit came this spring for some with the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. Bob Morrison, at the University of Minnesota says the excrement of infected pigs is loaded with the bug.