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USDA considers mandatory reports of deadly pig virus outbreaks: industry group

By Tom Polansek and Meredith Davis CHICAGO (Reuters) - The United States is considering rules that would require outbreaks of a deadly pig virus to be reported to the government in an effort to improve tracking of the disease, which has already spread to 30 states, an industry group said on Monday.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi, 8 infected

A foreigner has died from MERS while eight people including five health workers have been infected in the Saudi city of Jeddah, where the spread of the coronavirus among medics has sparked panic. The death of the 45-year-old man, whose nationality has not been disclosed, brings the nationwide toll in the world's most-affected country to 68. The health ministry late Saturday announced the death of the man and said five health workers -- two women and three men -- and three other people had been infected by the virus in Jeddah.

Saudi MERS death toll rises to 66

Saudi health authorities have reported the deaths of another two men from the MERS coronavirus, bringing the death toll from the respiratory disease in the worst hit country to 66. A 70-year-old national, who died in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, had also been suffering from chronic illnesses, the health ministry said in a late Sunday statement. The second victim was a medic, also in Jeddah, where the ministry reported four new cases of the disease.

N. Korea reports outbreak of FMD in cows

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has reported a fresh outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in cattle to a world animal quarantine body, two months after reporting outbreak of the infectious disease in pigs, a U.S. radio report said Saturday. The Voice of America (VOA) said that Pyongyang submitted a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), saying that the disease broke out at a cow farm in Cholwon county of Kangwon Province, near the boarder area with South Korea, on March 14.

Manitoba says it can't determine source of deadly pig virus found on farm

WINNIPEG - Investigators say the source of a deadly pig virus that turned up on a Manitoba farm remains a mystery. The province's veterinary office says it has ruled out infected feed or the movement of pigs to and from the farm. The Manitoba government says samples from 60 locations linked to the farm have not tested positive for the virus, known as porcine epidemic diarrhea. But officials say they have found a second sample of the virus at an unidentified facility that handles large numbers of pigs in the province.

S. Korea steps up border quarantine over new FMD outbreak in N. Korea

SEJONG, March 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has stepped up quarantine measures after North Korea reported another outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), concentrating its efforts on the border, the South Korean government said Wednesday. According to a report by North Korea to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), another outbreak of FMD was confirmed at a pig farm in Pyongyang on Jan. 16, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a press release.

Food inspection agency can't confirm links between pig feed and deadly hog virus

OTTAWA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it hasn't been able to confirm a link between a deadly pig virus and feed pellets containing hog blood plasma. Cases of the virus, known as porcine epidemic diarrhea, have been confirmed in Quebec, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Manitoba. Last month, the inspection agency said it was looking at the possibility that the virus may be found in U.S. origin porcine blood plasma used in feed pellets produced by Ontario-based Grand Valley Fortifiers.

N. Korea remains mum on S. Korea's aid offer over FMD

SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) -- North Korea kept silent on South Korea's offer to provide assistance to contain foot-and-mouth disease in the North for an eight straight day Tuesday, an official said. The official of the unification ministry said it remains to be seen whether the North will respond to Seoul's offer in the coming days. In 2007, the North responded to South Korea about a week after Seoul offered to provide assistance to contain the disease, he said.

North Dakota latest state to confirm case of deadly pig virus

By Meredith Davis (Reuters) - North Dakota is the latest state to confirm a case of a deadly pig virus which has killed an estimated 4 million pigs in the United States since its discovery in the spring of 2013. The first North Dakota case of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, or PEDv, was confirmed in the eastern part of the state this week, the North Dakota State University Extension Service said in a statement on Thursday.

China bans Polish pork amid African swine fever scare

China has banned pork imports from Poland, a leading EU exporter of the meat, after Warsaw confirmed its first two cases of African swine fever among wild boars. China is home to half of the globe's pigs, and the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned of "vast losses" should the swine fever take hold there. The Chinese measure comes after Russia slapped its own ban on pork imports from the 28-member European Union after the disease appeared in Lithuania, a move Brussels criticised as "disproportionate".
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