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African Swine Fever (ASF):

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

African Swine Fever (ASF):

Context:

The porcine industry in Assam suffered major losses during the COVID-19 lockdown, which was followed by an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) that has killed more than 17,000 pigs in Assam and over 4,500 in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • The current outbreak of ASF in India is the first time that the disease has been reported in the country.

Affected countries:

As per the latest update issued by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the current outbreak of ASF has affected China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Republic of Korea and Indonesia among others.

About African Swine Fever (ASF):

  • ASF is a highly contagious and fatal animal disease that infects domestic and wild pigs, typically resulting in an acute form of hemorrhagic fever.
  • It was first detected in Africa in the 1920s.
  • The mortality is close to 100 per cent, and since the fever has no cure, the only way to stop it spreading is by culling the animals.
  • ASF is not a threat to human beings since it only spreads from animals to other animals.
  • According to the FAO, “its extremely high potential for transboundary spread has placed all the countries in the region in danger and has raised the spectre of ASF once more escaping from Africa. It is a disease of growing strategic importance for global food security and household income”.

Sources: Indian Express.