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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Commercial hogs farms in North Carolina are being hit hard by a virus that kills most of the piglets it infects.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that nearly a third of the state’s 32,000 commercial hog farms have been it by the virus.

The porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED virus, thrives in cold, wet winter months.

State veterinarian David Marshall said about 100 farms are being infected each week.

The virus first appeared in Iowa last spring and reached North Carolina in late June. North Carolina is the nation’s second largest hog producer, with nearly nine million hogs on farms across the state.

Kelly Zering with North Carolina State University said it appears about 2 percent of the herd will be lost across the nation.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

2/26/2014 12:15:00 PM (GMT -5:00)

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