First outbreak of ‘African swine fever’ in India; Here’s all you need to know

First outbreak of ‘African swine fever’  in India; Here’s all you need to know

FACT | MAY 04, 2020:

For the first time, African Swine Fever has been reported in India, in the Northeastern state of Assam. The disease has killed around 2,500 pigs across 306 villages.

Assam's Animal Husbandry Atul Bora said that the virus spreads through pig's meat, saliva, blood and tissue. So there will also be no transportation of pigs between districts. "We will also see what can be done about pigs passing through our state", he said.

What is African swine fever?

According to the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), ASF is a highly contagious viral disease that affects pigs, warthogs, and boars.

It causes pigs to have high fever and lose their appetite. It also causes hemorrhages in the skin and internal organs.

Death is certain! Pigs die in a span of 2 to 10 days upon affliction.

World Organisation for Animal Health said that the transmission can also occur via contaminated feed and objects such as shoes, clothes, vehicles, knives and other equipment.

Areas affected by ASF

ASF is routinely found in several African countries. Since 2007, the disease has spread across several countries in central Asia, including China for the first time in 2018, as well as several European countries.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, ASF has severely affected China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, some areas in South Korea, Laos, and Myanmar.

ASF outbreaks have been detected in 32 provinces in China. Almost 1.2 million pigs there have been culled in an effort to halt the further spread of the disease.

Can humans get sick by ASF?

No, NMIS said ASF is not considered as a human health threat.

However, humans can become carriers of the virus once tainted pork is ingested or if people get close to the infected meat. The virus can also survive even if the meat has been processed or canned.

Unlike Classical Swine Fever (CSF), there is no vaccine for ASF.

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