Preventing Costly PRRS Outbreaks

The pandemic Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) was first recognised in the United States in the late 1980s. Despite more than 25 years of intensive research and efforts to combat the virus, it remains a significant threat to sow farms in the U.S. and abroad. While productivity losses resulting from the impact of the disease on growing herds have been reduced over the past decade, this progress is offset by significantly increased losses in breeding herds.

While a PRRS outbreak is not the only risk a sow farm has to consider when allocating capital for operations, it is one that should be given serious consideration, based on its potential to significantly impact production and costs. The likelihood of sustaining such losses due to an outbreak of PRRS is increased if your operation is located within a five mile radius of other sow farms. The virulent virus can travel airborne for five miles or more, and its ability to constantly change creates the potential for genetic evolution of the strain.

Extensive Studies Show:

The annual cost of productivity losses due to PRRSV in the U.S. national breeding and growing pig herds is
$664 million, up from $560 million in 2005,
equating to a loss of $1.8 million per day by the U.S. pork industry

An additional $477.8 million is estimated to be lost each year
on outbreak related costs, including animal care and biosecurity

Acute PRRS outbreaks in four breeding herds in Illinois
cost an estimated $100, $170, $428, and $510 respectively per breeding female,
based on decreases in the production of weaned pigs and increased treatment costs 

A four-month outbreak in a 250-sow herd in Minnesota
cost an estimated $59,000, $236 per breeding female, for one year following the outbreak

A feeder pig operation with an endemic PRRSV infection in the nursery reported a  
70% loss in profits due to a reduction of over $5.00 per pig attributed to the nursery stage alone,
based on decreased growth rates, increased feed conversion, and increased mortality

Air Filtration Is Your Front Line Defense 
Against PRRSV

Trials conducted by the University of Minnesota Swine Disease Eradication Center found that the risk of the indirect spread of PRRSV can be reduced with a comprehensive biosecurity program that includes air filtration. Unfortunately, most ventilation systems in swine facilities are typically designed to supply fresh air and control the inside temperature, not to provide air filtration. However, an effective air filtration system traps the airborne virus and its contaminants, preventing them from entering a facility and spreading throughout.

PRRS is a major concern not only for sow farms, but for cattle, dairy, and poultry farms as well. Air filtration prevents airborne pathogens, including PRRSV, from entering and spreading  throughout a farm, preventing costly outbreaks of a broad range of diseases that impact both animal health and production, and operating costs.

At AAF Flanders, we understand the threat that sow and other animal farming operations face from the virulent and costly PRRS virus, as well as other pathogens with the potential to have a significant impact on your herd, production levels, and operating costs. Our goal is to provide you with comprehensive information for assessing your risk, and filtration investment strategies to reduce your risk and the projected return on your investment. AAF Flanders offers air filtration solutions and climate control options to meet the unique needs of your farming  operation, protecting animal health, and profitability.