On September 9, the villages around Manila, the capital of the Philippines, experienced an outbreak of African swine fever, and at least seven villages died of pigs. Local officials said a multi-sectoral agency will be set up to ensure that this highly contagious disease will not spread further. It is reported that the Philippines is the country with the latest African swine fever in Asia. Earlier, China, Japan, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia, Laos and North Korea had successively experienced the epidemic.
Philippine Agriculture Minister William Dahl confirmed at a press conference held on September 9 that there were many deaths in pigs in northern Philippines in August. The government selected 20 blood samples from dead pigs for transport to the United Kingdom for African swine fever detection. Among them, 14 samples were positive. Dahl said: “These blood samples need further testing. We don’t know which virus has attacked the herd.” It is reported that there are more than 30 strains of African swine fever virus, and the different strains are lethal. Dahl called on reporters to help the government prevent the public from panicking the local pig industry to stabilize domestic pig prices. According to reports, the area where the epidemic occurred was Rizal and Bulacan in the northern Philippines. The authorities have culled more than 7,400 live pigs within one kilometer of the infected area and the affected area. The Philippine Department of Agriculture is reviewing infection reports in other areas.
On September 9, 2019, a sudden outbreak of African swine fever in the northern Philippines, the Philippine authorities said they have taken measures to control the spread of the epidemic.
The Philippine Department of Agriculture said that although the epidemic has already occurred, the authorities have already controlled the epidemic and will further strengthen the quarantine inspection of the airport and port customs to combat the smuggling of imported meat to prevent a large-scale outbreak. In addition, the Ministry also called on farmers in the country and merchants engaged in the sale and transportation of pigs, pork and pork products to take timely and effective measures to deal with the epidemic. The authorities will ensure that pork supply and prices remain normal.
Swine fever “resurrection”
The main reason for the spread of African swine fever virus in Japan may be wild boar infected with swine fever.
On September 10, a new infection occurred in Japan after the first case of swine fever was discovered in the Bengbu pig farm last year. As of September 9, 40 cases were confirmed in four counties, including 21 cases in Jixian County, 16 cases in Aichi Prefecture, 2 cases in Fukui Prefecture, and one case in Mie Prefecture. A total of more than 130,000 pigs from seven prefectures including Nagano, Shiga, and Osaka were culled because of the culling of the shipments of infected pig farms.
In addition to the four counties where infection occurred, wild boars infected with swine fever were also found in Nagano Prefecture, Toyama Prefecture, and Ishikawa Prefecture. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan has built a “vaccine belt” in the form of surrounding the seven counties, and decided to release bait containing vaccines to wild boars on a large scale. In addition, in infected areas, the demand for vaccination of domestic pigs is strong, but the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan takes a cautious attitude in consideration of the impact on sales of Japanese products.
It is reported that the “purification country” qualification recognized by international agencies is currently in a state of suspension, and the conditions for recovery are no new infections in three months. Since the suspension period is two years, if the infection has not subsided until September next year, Japan will become a “non-purifying country.” Not only will it affect the import and export of pork, but it will take some time to return to becoming a “purification country”.
The epidemic is still spreading
In May 2019, the Vietnamese agricultural department said that the African swine fever epidemic continued to spread in Vietnam, and about 1.5 million pigs had been culled in 34 provinces and cities that had quarantined the epidemic. As of September 4, the number of pigs in Africa has been found in 63 provinces and cities in Vietnam. The number of live pigs lost to the virus has exceeded 4 million, accounting for about 10% of the total herd. In the case of pig-raising countries in Southeast Asia with Vietnam, such as Myanmar and Laos, where the monitoring system is weak, it has also spread. According to statistics, as of August 2019, a total of 17 domestic pigs infected with African swine fever in Laos, and two in Myanmar.
Earlier, in March 2018, in Irkutsk (the second largest city in Eastern Siberia, Russia) near the Mongolian-Russian border, a pig in a courtyard farm was diagnosed with African swine fever, six days. Within, 40 pigs died. Subsequently, 1327 pigs within a five-kilometer radius were treated.
The “plague” has harmed the world and has been recorded a hundred years ago.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), African Swine Fever is a swine disease caused by an acute and highly contagious viral strain. Infected pigs are characterized by loss of appetite, high temperature, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, severe bleeding of internal organs, short onset, and mortality can be as high as 100%.
It has been recorded that the African swine fever has a history of more than 100 years, and no effective treatment for the virus has been found worldwide. In the “Veterinary Handbook: Discovery and Diagnosis of African Hog” published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2017, it has sorted out the global transmission path of African swine fever.
In 1909, African piglets were first discovered in domestic pigs imported from Europe to East Africa. At the time, the virus was mainly in an African wild boar and a locust (Editor’s Note: The locust belongs to the arachnid. It is a temporary blood-sucking parasite that lives on the surface of the vertebrate, and is a zoonosis. Spread between the vector of the disease and the storage host.). Europeans who settled in Kenya found that farming would not be affected as long as the fence was used to isolate domestic pigs and wild boars. But then, the aquaculture industry in Africa began to develop, the number of domestic pigs continued to grow, and it was a large-scale stocking, which led to the recurrence of African swine fever. In the following hundred years, Africa became the hardest hit area for African swine fever, which is the origin of the name “African Hog.”
After the middle of the 20th century, maritime and aviation technologies were increasingly developed. Trade between the continents was frequent, and the virus began to spread in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The first European country to be hit by African swine fever was Portugal, in 1957. According to the study, the genetically transmitted type I African swine fever virus introduced to Portugal came from West Africa. At that time, the epidemic was quickly extinguished, but by 1960, the outbreak of the epidemic in Portugal. This time, the fierce virus spread more widely, sweeping Italy (1967), Spain (1969), France (1977), Malta (1978), Belgium (1985), and the Netherlands (1986).
In the Americas, Cuba had an African swine fever in 1971. It is said that at that time, passengers carrying unpublished sausages into Cuba became the source of the local outbreak of African swine fever. Subsequently, Dominica (1978), Haiti (1979), and Brazil in South America also broke out in 1978. Fortunately, most countries have successfully controlled the epidemic.
In 2007, the gene type II African swine fever virus was introduced into the Caucasus. In June of that year, the Georgian health department first reported the discovery of African swine fever, the source of which may be contaminated pork products flowing into the country. Within two weeks, more than 30,000 pigs died in Georgia. Subsequently, European countries such as Russia, Ukraine, and Poland were not spared. Studies have confirmed that the African swine fever that was introduced into East Asia in 2018 is also a genetic type II African swine fever virus, and the genome-wide sequence homology with the strains published in Georgia, Russia, and Poland is as high as 99.95%. At present, more than 60 countries and regions around the world have reported the African swine fever epidemic.
The international cross-border transmission of African swine fever is mainly through the following ways and methods: international trade and smuggling of live pigs and their products; pork and its products carried by international passengers; food and kitchen residues on international means of transport; wild boar migration (EU countries, Wild boar is the main source of transmission for piglets.
Strengthen prevention and control, national vigilance
As the African swine fever continues to heat up, governments are waiting to be quarantined. The Vietnamese government has said that the African swine fever outbreak is the “most dangerous, complicated and most costly outbreak” encountered by the Vietnamese livestock industry. The Vietnamese government will use the army and police to participate in the operation to ensure that sick pigs are slaughtered in time to prevent further spread of the epidemic.
In North America, which has not been affected by the African swine fever epidemic, the spread of possible epidemics is also being stepped up. In May 2019, the US Department of Agriculture announced the strengthening of epidemic prevention and increased the intensity of the original monitoring. Ten laboratories in the United States were newly tested for diseases in the United States that were raised or slaughtered, and whether the dead pigs had the African swine fever virus project, and further Control the epidemic prevention of Canada and Mexico at the border to prevent passengers from infected areas from carrying any meat.
According to media analysis, the current swine fever epidemic in many parts of Asia is expected to cause more than 200 million pigs to die. In the past 100 years, only 13 countries have eradicated the African swine fever epidemic, eradicating 5 to 36 years, and have paid enormous human, material and financial resources. Among them, Cuba, Belgium and France have been eliminated and reoccurred. But consumers still have to buy fresh meat. It is certain that pork prices will continue to rise in the short term.
Neil White, chief executive of the American meat processing giant Tyson, said that although African piglets have hit the Asian pork market, they have created a rare room for growth in chicken, beef, fish and other meats. “This will help strengthen the company’s pricing power in the market this year and next. The analysis suggests that African swine fever may also cause US pork prices to rise for a long time.” He further said that the virus has not been contained, and that some traditional farming in Asia In the region, the upgrading of the herd may require “at least 20 months”, which means “the demand for non-domestic pork will last at least until 2020.” Fortunately, despite the ravages of African pigs in Asia, the vaccine has not yet come out. You don’t have to panic. Although the African swine fever virus can survive for a long time under non-high temperature conditions, it is not a zoonosis and does not infect humans.