There was an epidemic of diarrhoea affecting pigs of all ages in Italy between May 2005 and June 2006. In 63 herds the cause was confirmed as porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus by electron microscopy, immunoelectron microscopy, pcr and serology. Watery diarrhoea without mucus and blood was usually associated with a reduction of feed consumption. In farrowing-to-weaning herds, diarrhoea affected the sows and suckling piglets, and the mortality in newborn piglets was up to 34 per cent. In growers and fatteners the morbidity ranged from 20 to 80 per cent, but there was either no mortality or it was very low. Depending on the size of the herd and the type of operation, the clinical disease lasted for weeks or months.
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