By NewsDesk    @infectiousdiseasenews

The African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in Vietnam has spread significantly since the first outbreak was reported on 19 February 2019. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported last week that a total of 62 provinces/cities reported outbreaks, about 3,700,000 pigs have died from the disease or been culled as a control measure.

Image/Chun-San via pixabay

Vietnam has taken a number of actions to include issuing guidance on the handling and disposal of African swine fever-infected pigs and the control of transportation of pigs for breeding and commercial farming in and outside ASF areas, to name a couple.

Gary Flory of G.A. Flory Consulting and a animal disease response consultant said upon his recent return from Vietnam–Since March, I have seen improvement in the areas of depopulation, carcass disposal, and decontamination (3D). These improvements are the result of diligent efforts from the agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. I have also been involved with ASF missions this year to Cambodia and Laos. Unfortunately, ASF continues to spread in those countries as well.

Bottom line: All countries should begin, or continue, diligent efforts to plan and train for all aspects of their ASF response, including depopulation, disposal and decontamination. Failure to do so can have significant economic and food security impacts. And don’t forget biosecurity—prevention is far better than response!

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Elsewhere in Asia, China has reported 149 ASF outbreaks detected in 32 Provinces / Autonomous Regions / Municipalities / Special Administrative Region since the first outbreak was seen one year ago. More than 1,160,000 pigs have been culled.

In Laos, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry confirmed its first ASF outbreak in Toumlan District, Salavane Province on 20 June 2019. New ASF outbreak occurred in Monesavanh and Had xeui Villages, Khoua District on 11 July, and in Boun Neua District, in Phongsaly Province.

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Since the Cambodia Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries confirmed the first ASF outbreak in Ratanakiri Province on 2 April 2019, ASF outbreaks were detected in 5 Provinces.

Since its first report on 15 January 2019, 11 outbreaks in 6 provinces and in Ulaanbaatar have been reported, involving 105 farms/households. More than 3,115 pigs, more than 10 percent of the total pig population in Mongolia, have died/been destroyed due to the ASF outbreaks.

ASF is not a health-risk to humans but only to wild and domestic pigs. The virus can survive for long in cured, dried and salted pork and often gets introduced to the farm through swill feeding of pigs. There is currently no cure nor is there an effective vaccine or treatment available for ASF. Once pigs are infected, the only measure is to cull the affected pig populations.

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