African swine fever outbreak spreads to Free State Province

Maricruz Casares
May 15, 2019

African swine fever is a severe viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs which can be spread by live or dead pigs and pork products, the World Organization for Animal Health said, noting that the ASF virus is harmless to humans, but causes hemorrhagic fever in pigs and wild boars that is nearly fatal.

A health official of the SAR government declared that an African swine fever (ASF) case was recorded at a slaughterhouse in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and about 6,000 pigs would be isolated.

Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that so far the virus had spread to 29 provinces, among them Dong Nai in the south, which is the largest supplier of pork in the southeast Asian country, according to news portal Vietnam Biz. Swine Flu Deaths in 2019: H1N1 Virus Claims Over 330 Lives Across India, 127 Killed in Rajasthan Alone.

The affected areas have been placed under quarantine and investigations were being carried out to trace the origin of the outbreaks and identify other farms that may be affected, the agriculture, forestry and fisheries ministry said in a statement.

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The disease can not be transmitted to humans and Chan says well-cooked pork is safe for consumption.

"Farmers should therefore ensure that, if any swill is fed to pigs, [that it] must be pre-cooked for at least an hour".

The department advised that pigs should be bought only from reputable owners, and that buyers should insist on a declaration from sellers that the pigs come from a healthy herd. Denmark has begun erecting a 70km fence along the German border to keep out wild boars in an attempt to prevent the spread of the fever, which could jeopardise the country's valuable pork industry.

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