updated 2/12/2014 3:06:09 PM ET 2014-02-12T20:06:09

(Reuters) - A new swine virus, distinct from the deadly PEDv pig virus, has been found in pig fecal samples taken from four different farms in Ohio during January and early February, the Ohio Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday.

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While the pigs that contracted the new virus, designated as Swine DeltaCoronavirus (SDCV), suffered from diarrhea, which is also a symptom of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) and transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE), the virus is different, state officials said.

Of the four Ohio farms where the virus was discovered, one tested positive for Swine DeltaCoronavirus, but negative for PEDv and TGE. The other three farms tested positive for both PEDv and Swine DeltaCoronavirus.

"This virus is closely related to a coronavirus detected in Hong Kong in 2012," the Ohio Department of Agriculture said.

The discovery of the new virus strain comes as the U.S. pork industry is battling spread of PEDv, which has killed up to an estimated 4 million pigs across 23 states since it was first discovered in the United States in April 2013.

A second strain of PEDv was identified last week by researchers at Iowa State University.

The virus cannot spread to humans or other species and poses no risk to food safety and further research needs to be complete in order to determine whether or not this virus is the cause of diarrheal disease in affected pigs, the Ohio Department of Agriculture said.

(Reporting By Meredith Davis; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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