Chinese agricultural officials reported (computer translated) an additional African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NHAR) in the northwest part of the country.

Image/Chun-San via pixabay
Image/Chun-San via pixabay

This is the 25th region or province to record an ASF outbreak in China.

The outbreak occurred on a farm in Wangyuan Town, Yongning County that had 57 pigs, in which nearly half were infected and 13 were dead.

ASF is a highly contagious, generalized disease of pigs caused by an Iridovirus of family Asfarviridae that exhibits varying virulence between strains and is very hardy to physical and chemical inactivation. The agent can remain viable for long periods in blood, feces and tissues. It can also multiply in its vectors.

It most commonly appears in the acute form as a hemorrhagic fever. Subacute and chronic forms of the disease also exist. Mortality is usually close to 100 percent and pigs of all ages are affected.

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ASF is considered endemic in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It is now established beyond Africa, in the Caucasus and Eastern Europe. In the past, the virus was already detected outside Africa from the 1950s to the 1980s in Europe, the Caribbean and Brazil. The disease was effectively eradicated from outside of Africa with the exception of the Italian island of Sardinia, which remains endemic.