African Swine Fever (ASF)


    In News

    • Recently, African swine flu was detected in Tripura.
    • The disease has claimed the lives of nearly 25,000 pigs in Mizoram in the last five months.

    About African Swine Fever

    • Background: 
      • ASF is a highly contagious and fatal animal disease that infects domestic and wild pigs, typically resulting in an acute form of hemorrhagic fever.
      • It was first detected in Kenya, in 1909 and is later found in regions of Asia, Europe and Africa.
    • Mortality:
      • The mortality is close to 100 percent, and since the fever has no cure, the only way to stop it spreading is by culling the animals.
      • ASF is not a threat to human beings since it only spreads from animals to other animals.


    Symptoms of illness:  

    • It includes weight loss, intermittent fever, respiratory signs, chronic skin ulcers and arthritis. Acute forms of ASF are characterised by high fever, anorexia, loss of appetite and haemorrhages in the skin.

    Prevention and control:

    • Classic sanitary measures may be employed including early detection and humane killing of animals (with proper disposal of carcases and waste); thorough cleansing and disinfection and opting strict biosecurity norms.

    Vaccines availability:

    • As of now, there is no approved vaccine, which is also a reason why animals are culled to prevent the spread of infection.
    • It is important that determination of ASF is made through laboratory testing and it is differentiated from Classical Swine Fever (CSF), whose signs may be similar to ASF, but is caused by a different virus for which a vaccine exists.

    Classical Swine Fever (CSF)

    • It is also known as hog cholera, which is an important disease of pigs.
    • It is one of the most economically-damaging pandemic viral diseases of pigs in the world.
    • It is caused by a virus of the genus Pestivirus of the family Flaviviridae, which is closely related to the viruses that cause bovine viral diarrhoea in cattle and border disease in sheep.


    Source: IE