Domestic Pigs in China Suffer From African Swine Fever

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Researchers from Institute of Military Veterinary Medicine in Changchun suggested that the virus causing African swine fever is closely related to the strain circulating in Russia.

China, the world’s largest pork producer, is hit by African swine fever (ASF), a highly contagious, often fatal disease of domestic pigs and wild boars. The outbreak has majorly affected four provinces in northeast China. Although the virus does not harm humans, it spreads rapidly among domestic pigs and wild boars. ASF spreads through direct contact or exposure to contaminated shoes, clothing, and equipment of farm workers and can survive heat and cold. The virus persists for weeks in carcasses, feces, and fresh and semi-cured pork products.

Moreover, ticks residing on the pigs can spread the virus that can cause a high fever, internal bleeding, and, often lead to death. Unfortunately no treatment or vaccine is available for ASF. The disease is endemic in most African countries and spread to Georgia in 2007 and later to Russia. Moreover, the disease has been reported in Poland and the Czech Republic and Germany and Denmark are expected to suffer in near future. The outbreak in East Asia was first confirmed on 1 August in Shenyang, a city in Liaoning province.

The disease was traced back through sales of pigs and the researchers concluded that the virus has been circulating in the area since March and the genetic analysis suggests the virus is closely related to the strain circulating in Russia. A slaughterhouse in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province witnessed the second outbreak on August 14, 2018. The pigs in the farmhouse had been shipped from a market in Jiamusi, a town in Heilongjiang province. Moreover, another outbreak was registered in a farm in Lianyungang, in Jiangsu province on August 15. The Chinese government ordered culling of sick and exposed animals and around 9000 pigs exposed or affected by ASF were killed in Shenyang. Moreover, various farms were disinfected farms along with markets and processing facilities. The pigs were screened and epidemiological surveys are been conducted in various regions in China.

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