By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In response to the recent confirmation of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the Dominican Republic, The Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHSFA) is advising Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States to intensify protective measures against ASF.

Image/Chun-San via pixabay

The disease has already killed more than 800 pigs in two locations in the Dominican Republic- La Mina, Monte Cristi province and La Breña, Sánchez Ramírez province.

The matter was under discussion as recent as 29 July 2021, at the 21st Annual Meeting of the CARICOM Committee of Chief Veterinary Officers.

Among the recommendations the meeting advanced to limit the spread of the disease to other countries in the Region were:

  • Increased border surveillance
  • Activating or updating national disease emergency/contingency plans
  • Intensifying surveillance and early detection mechanisms and activities
  • Intensifying regional coordination among development partners
  • Revising and updating procedures to manage international garbage from ports of entry, and
  • Improving collaboration in the area of diagnostics

This is the first detection of the disease in the Americas in almost 40 years.

African Swine Fever is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs.  It is a transboundary animal disease (TAD) that can be spread by live or dead pigs, domestic or wild, and pork products, contaminated feed and objects such as shoes, clothes, vehicles, knives, and. ASF had significantly reduced the pig population in China back in 2019 and has the potential for devastating consequences for the Caribbean.

African swine fever: New strains found in China, Milder but highly transmissible

African swine fever: Global action needed to halt spread of deadly pig disease

African Swine Fever in Asia: Indonesia is the latest country to report an outbreak

African swine fever in Vietnam: 62 provinces and cities affected, 3.7 million pigs culled