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Ontario premier set to discuss national strategy to contain deadly pig virus

File photo. REX FEATURES/TIM SCRIVENER

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne will discuss ways to contain a deadly pig virus Thursday with her federal, provincial and territorial counterparts.

Wynne, who also serves as Ontario’s agriculture minister, is expected to explore a possible national strategy to contain the virus.

The highly contagious porcine epidemic diarrhea virus continued to spread in Ontario Wednesday as officials confirmed a fourth case in the province.

Officials said two new cases were confirmed, one in Chatham-Kent and one at a farm in Norfolk County on the north shore of Lake Erie.

Spokeswoman Susan Murray of Ontario‘s Ministry of Agriculture says authorities expect to find more cases since PED is so easy to transmit.

Officials stress that there is no risk to human health or food safety.

A group representing Ontario hog farmers has said the virus is spread through contact with manure, which can cling to trucks, trailers, clothing and boots.

Canada‘s first case of PED was discovered last week on a farm in southwestern Ontario, and officials say hundreds of piglets have died from the disease.

The virus has also decimated herds in the U.S., and Canadian hog producers have said they fear the same could happen here.