African Swine Fever

African Swine Fever

Why in news : 50 pigs were culled in IDUKKI district, Kerala due to detection of African swine fever in the region.

What is African swine fever :

  • African swine fever virus (ASFV) is a large, double-stranded DNA virus in the Asfarviridae family.[1] It is the causative agent of African swine fever (ASF).
  • It is a highly contagious and fatal animal disease that infects pigs and it causes hemorrhagic fever in domestic and wild pigs.
  • The first outbreak of ASF was reported in 1907.
  •  It does not cause disease in humans. So it is not a direct threat to the human beings.
  • ASF is a disease listed in the world organisation for Animal Health (OIE)’s Terrestrial Animal Health Code.

Signs and symptoms :

  • High fever
  • Loss of apetite
  • Depression
  • In white- skinned pigs, the extremities turn blueish-purple and hemorrhages become apparent on the ears and abdomen.
  • Shivering, abnormal breathing and coughing.
  • In pregnant sows, spontaneous abortions occur.

Spread :

  • The virus can be spread by ticks, but also by swine eating pork products that contain the virus.
  • The National Pig Association, a UK industry body, states[19] that the virus can also be transmitted by direct or indirect contact with infected pigs, faeces or body fluids.

Vaccine research :

  • Vietnam successfully produced the first vaccine against African swine fever on June 1, 2022.