Africa / Animal Diseases / ASF / Asia / Disease Control / Emerging Diseases / Europe / Event / ILRI / North America / Pigs / Vaccines

African swine fever is growing threat to poor and rich countries alike

African Swine Fever workshop, July 2011, Nairobi

Participants of an African swine fever workshop held in July 2011 at ILRI’s Nairobi headquarters: (From left) Raymond Rowland (Kansas State University), David Odongo (ILRI), Richard Bishop (ILRI), Maria-Jesus Munoz (Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal-Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias) and Jose-Manuel Vizcaino (head of the World Animal Health Organisation’s African Swine Fever World Reference Centre, in Madrid) on a visit to the new laboratories at ILRI and Biosciences eastern and central Africa (photo credit: ILRI/Edward Okoth).

‘Scientists from around the world came to Kansas State University’s Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) May 15–17 to take a global look at the highly contagious viral disease, African swine fever (ASF). The researchers assembled to give updates on research and in some cases, the status of ASF in their countries.

‘ASF has not been found in the United States, but is a serious problem in Africa and outbreaks have occurred in other countries, including Spain, Italy, Russia and the Dominican Republic. There is no vaccine or treatment. Changes in production practices and increasing globalization have increased the risk of introducing ASF into North America and other parts of the world, according to the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University. . . .

‘Humans are not susceptible to the African swine fever virus (ASFV), but when an outbreak occurs in any region or country, the financial and physical implications can be devastating to the swine industry and those related to it. During outbreaks in Malta and the Dominican Republic, for example, the swine herds of the entire countries were completely depopulated. . . .

Richard Bishop, senior molecular biologist with the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya spoke of the importance of the swine herd in Africa, adding that even one pig can make a significant difference in a family’s income. He said that the pig population in Africa increased 284% from 1980 to 1999 and that pork consumption during the period almost doubled. . . .’

Read the whole article at National Hog Farmer (USA): African swine fever represents growing global threat, 18 May 2012.

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