Background The incidence of PHE among pigs in many countries is on the rise, and it has caused great economic losses to the pig industry. Therefore, the development of a sensitive, specific, and easily-performed assay is crucial for the rapid detection and surveillance of PHE-CoV infection and transmission. Results An immunochromatographic strip was developed for the detection of PHE-CoV. The colloidal gold-labeled MAb 4D4 was used as the detection reagent, and the MAb 1E2 and goat anti-mouse IgG coated the strip's test and control lines, respectively. The immunochromatographic strip was capable of specifically detecting PHE-CoV with a HA unit of 2 within 10 min. Storage of the strips at room temperature for 6 months or at 4°C for 12 months did not change their sensitivity or specificity. Using RT-PCR as a reference test, the relative specificity and sensitivity of the immunochromatographic strip were determined to be 100% and 97.78%, respectively. There was an excellent agreement between the results obtained by RT-PCR and the immunochromatographic strips (kappa = 0.976). Additionally, there was a strong agreement between the sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunochromatographic strips (Kappa = 0.976). When the immunochromatographic strips were used for diagnosing PHE-CoV infection in the Jilin Province, the PHE-CoV-positive rate ranged from 61.54% in the Jilin district to 17.95% in the Songyuan district. Conclusions Based on its high specificity, sensitivity, and stability, the immunochromatographic strip would be suitable for on-site detection of PHE-CoV for surveillance and epidemiological purposes.