China battles spread of African swine fever as fifth case found

03-Sep-2018 Intellasia | Telegraph | 6:56 AM Print This Post

A deadly pig disease found for the first time in China in early August has quickly spread across the country, with officials declaring the fifth case in a month.

Health officials battling to halt the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) have already culled more than 25,000 pigs to try to halt its movement through the world’s largest pork producer.

The highly contagious viral disease cannot be caught by humans, but is often fatal to pigs and impossible to vaccinate against.

The most recent case was discovered on a farm in eastern Anhui province with infected herds now appearing hundreds of miles apart in five provinces in eastern China.

More than 25,000 pigs have been killed in the past month (AFP)

More than 25,000 pigs have been killed in the past month (AFP)

The American government has said the extent of the infection is likely to be higher and accused the Chinese government of keeping a lid on reports.

“We think that it probably has been underreported in China, the way they’re able to control their media about that,” said US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

The outbreak is the first time the disease has been detected in east Asia and there are fears it will quickly spread to the rest of the region.

Spread by ticks, direct contact between pigs, contaminated food and animal feed, it is devastating to herds.

The latest fever outbreak infected killed 80 of 459 animals on a farm in Nanling county in Wuhu city, with the remaining 379 culled, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Thursday.

Transport of pigs and related products has been banned in the affected area, according to a notice on the ministry’s website.

Wuhu is more than 1,056 miles south of Shenyang, capital of northeastern Liaoning province, where the first infection was discovered, and 400 miles north of another previous reported case in Wenzhou, Zhejiang.

Pork products could be responsible for the spread rather than live animals, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/31/china-battles-spread-african-swine-fever-fifth-case-found/

 


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