African swine fever reappears in over 50 countries

African swine fever (ASF), also known as African swine fever (AFF), is a highly contagious hemorrhagic animal disease caused by a virus that affects only domestic pigs and wild boars. After an absence of more than 40 years, the epidemic has reappeared on the American continent and possibly infected domestic pigs in East Germany.

Cases have also been identified in several countries, including the Dominican Republic, China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Russia and Italy. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recalls in a post on its Twitter account: “Due to its complex epidemiology, the disease has recently spread, affecting more than 50 countries in Africa, Europe and Asia since 2018. Still working”.

The organization therefore calls on breeders to take immediate and drastic action to respond to the progression of this viral disease. During the time of the coronavirus pandemic, the emergence of new forms of the disease is a cause for concern. African swine fever is highly contagious and affects only pig populations: boars, wild boars, warthogs. So it is safe for the people.

Its introduction into herds has serious socio-economic and health consequences for the professional sectors of agriculture. Indeed, the disease causes large-scale harvesting and results in substantial economic losses. More than 11,600 outbreaks of the disease have been identified in Asia, of which at least more than 3,000 are still ongoing since 2018.

Contaminated countries lose their independent status, which means a limit and even a ban on the export of live pigs and pork products. The disease induces complex immune responses that require complex manipulation of the virus before a vaccine can be designed and developed. Thus, no vaccine or treatment has yet been proven to fight African swine fever.

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The World Organization for Animal Health continues to join global forces to strengthen animal health systems as part of the Global Initiative. The organization thus encourages solidarity and cooperation between countries with experience and technical resources while highlighting progress made in preventing the spread of the disease.

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