African Swine Fever
African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious viral disease that affects both domestic and wild pigs. It has a mortality rate that can reach 100%, and there is currently no effective vaccine against it. While the virus is not a danger to human health, it can have devastating effects on pig populations and the farming economy.
Spread of the Virus
- ASF is highly resistant in the environment, which means it can survive on clothes, boots, wheels, and other materials. It can also survive in various pork products, such as ham, sausages, or bacon. This means that human behavior can play a significant role in spreading the disease across borders if adequate measures are not taken.
- In India, sporadic cases of ASF have been reported over the last three years. In 2021, the northeastern states of Nagaland, Mizoram, and Manipur were affected by the disease. In December 2022, cases were confirmed in Kerala, Assam, and Manipur. Pork meat sales were banned in parts of Kerala around New Year's Eve last year due to a swine fever scare in the Kottayam and Ernakulam districts.
- This year, on January 5, the virus was isolated from the bodies of two dead wild boars at the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Theppakadu village, Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu. Two more boars were found dead in the area on January 4, 2023.
- ASF is a viral disease that attacks pigs and boars and has a high mortality rate. It is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, but it has spread to many other regions of the world, including Asia and Europe. It is not known to affect human beings.
Response in Madhya Pradesh
- In response to the spread of ASF, the district administration of Damoh in Madhya Pradesh has killed 700 pigs in the last two days amid fear of the disease in the area. The first animal mortality related to the disease was reported about two weeks ago in the Hata block, according to news agency ANI.
- Later, hundreds of animals, including cows, bulls, and pigs, were found dead in the district's Banawar area within a week, according to a veterinary doctor who spoke to ANI. The state's animal husbandry department carried out an investigation and confirmed that ASF was behind these deaths.
- Veterinarian Dr. Somil Rai told ANI that the infection has spread like wildfire in the area. The carcasses are being buried with JCB machines.
No Cure or Precaution Available
- There is currently no cure or precaution available for ASF infection. The best way to prevent the spread of the disease is to practice good hygiene and biosecurity measures, such as washing hands and clothes after handling pigs and avoiding contact with infected animals. It is also important to report any suspicious cases of the disease to the authorities.
ASF is a highly contagious viral disease that can have devastating effects on pig populations and the farming economy. While it is not a threat to human health, it is important to take precautions to prevent its spread. This includes practicing good hygiene and biosecurity measures and reporting any suspicious cases to the authorities. There is currently no cure or vaccine for ASF, so prevention is the best way to protect against the disease.