Aug. 28, 2018

U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned that outbreak of African swine fever in China could spread to Southeast Asia and Korea where trade and consumption of pork products is also high.


  • It is a highly contagious, viral disease that affects pigs and wild boar.

  • Transmission: The virus is present in body fluids and tissues of the infected animals and spreads via direct contact and possibly through blood-sucking flies, ticks or other insects.

  • Symptoms: The infected animals get high haemorrhagic fever, lose appetite and die in 2-10 days.

  • Regions of occurrence: The virus is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa, but outbreaks have occurred in East-Europe, Russia, china, the Caribbean and Brazil in recent decades.

  • Prevention: There is no effective vaccine to protect pigs from the virus. No vaccine exists and culling (Slaughtering) is often the only effective way.

  • Impact on Humans:

  • Unlike the H1N1 virus that causes swine flu, the ASF virus doesn’t infect humans.

  • But major outbreaks and culling’s can potentially impact human food security due to lost or reduced production. Bans on imports can impact international trade.

  • Recent outbreak in China: China has killed more than 24,000 pigs and imposed strict quarantine and disinfection efforts in hopes of limiting the spread of virus.