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African Swine Fever

Context:

Barely a week after about 500 pigs were culled in Kerala’s Wayanad district to prevent the spread of African swine fever detected there, new cases of the disease have been reported from there and Kannur.

Relevance:

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

 Dimensions of this Article:

  1. What is African Swine Fever?
  2. What are the symptoms of African swine fever?

What is African Swine Fever?

  • African Swine Fever (ASF) does not affect humans but can be catastrophic for pigs.
  • In 2019, the outbreak of the disease swept through pig populations in China — which is the largest exporter and consumer of pork — leading to large-scale cullings.
  • ASF is a severe viral disease that affects wild and domestic pigs typically resulting in an acute haemorrhagic fever.
  • The disease has a case fatality rate (CFR) of almost 100 per cent.
  • Its routes of transmission include direct contact with an infected or wild pig (alive or dead), indirect contact through ingestion of contaminated material such as food waste, feed or garbage, or through biological vectors such as ticks.
  • Any country with a pig sector is at risk of the spread of the disease and its spread is most likely via meat arriving aboard ships and planes, which is incorrectly disposed of and by meat carried by individual travellers.

What are the symptoms of African swine fever?

  • High Fever
  • Weakness and Difficulty Standing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Red or blue blotches on the skin (Particularly around ears and snout)
  • Coughing or labored breathing

-Source: The Hindu


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