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African Swine Fever (ASF)

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

African Swine Fever (ASF):


Context:

African swine fever (ASF) has spread to Meghalaya; more than 17,000 pigs have died due to the highly-contagious disease in adjoining Assam.

Background:

Since February this year, ASF has killed at least 17,000 domesticated pigs in Assam and an unspecified number in Arunachal Pradesh. The disease is believed to have been transmitted from China where it has resulted in the death of several animals in 2019.

What’s the concern?

Piggery is a major source livelihood in the northeast because of the high demand for pork. Assam alone has seven lakh pig farmers engaged in the business, worth at least ₹8,000 crore annually.

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”.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. Difference between Swine fever and swine flu?
  2. Can swine fever affect humans?
  3. Is it a viral disease?
  4. Where was it first discovered?
  5. Which countries have been affected by this in 2020?
  6. Is there any vaccine available against this?

Mains Link:

Write a note African Swine Fever, symptoms and its spread.

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Sources: the Hindu.