Wisconsin's "pseudorabies-free" status could be in jeopardy as a swine herd in Clark County has apparently been infected by the virus. Local, state and federal officials met in Neillsville Monday morning to discuss the potential outbreak. The County Board will be briefed before their meeting Tuesday.
The virus is especially contagious among swine, but can also spread to other livestock, but other livestock die so quickly from it, they don't often pass it on. It is not known to affect humans. Donna Gilson is a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. She says Wisconsin's last recorded case of pseudorabies was in 1998. While the virus can be deadly for livestock, Gilson says it could also have a big financial impact on the state by requiring producers to test livestock before shipping it to other states.
Officials are still waiting for test results from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. Gilson says the USDA has different levels to measure the prevalence of the pseudorabies. Gilson says it's unlikely other states would ban Wisconsin animals if officials confirm an outbreak here.
The farm in question has been quarantined so no animals move on or off the property. If the positive tests are confirmed, the pigs will be slaughtered. Clark County Emergency Management Director Jennifer Lord-Kouraichi says officials are actively looking for other cases within a five mile radius of that farm.
Officials are not allowed to name the farmer or the exact location of the farm. The virus was detected after a standard slaughter blood test. (WCCN's Paul Knoff contributed this report)