Pork prices could increase significantly due to deadly virus - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Pork prices could increase significantly due to deadly virus

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Farmers across the country are worried that a deadly virus may wipe out their pigs. Farmers across the country are worried that a deadly virus may wipe out their pigs.

(WECT) - Farmers across the country are worried that a deadly virus may wipe out their pigs.

The virus is spreading throughout the country and as a result, you could end up paying more for pork. The virus is called Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea or PED and it can be fatal.

It was thought to exist only in Europe and China, but it has now been confirmed in about 300 hog facilities in 15 states, including North Carolina.

Our state has a lot of pigs - over nine million and it's a billion dollar industry.

Piglets are more likely to contract the deadly virus, but they could contaminate an entire farm and beyond.

"It's not just going to stop just because they got sick as pigs. It can affect a pig at any stage of growth while it's just worse on the young ones. Just like us, they don't have the immune system that a larger hog will have," said Phyllis Creech-Greene, NC Cooperative Extension Service.

The virus poses no health risk to humans through contact or consumption, but it's your piggy bank that could feel the pain.

It is not certain how much pork prices will go up, but officials believe it could be significant.

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