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ASF Spread Likely Due to Dead Infected Pigs in River

7 March 2012, at 10:14am

SOUTH AFRICA - Mpumalanga farmers have been warned they face an African swine fever (ASF) threat. The likely spread of the recent outbreak may have bee due to the disposal of infected dead pigs in a local stream.

Farmers are being told to keep uninfected animals away from infected pigs “to curb the spread of the virus”, eMbalenhle municipality spokesman Themba Motlhankana said on Tuesday, reports IOLNews.

In February about 100 pigs infected with the virus at eMbalenhle extension 10 died and were thrown into a local stream. This may have caused the virus to spread as the stream was a grazing area, said Mr Motlhankana.

The stream was subsequently disinfected.

“Livestock owners are advised not to discard carcasses at any convenient space.”

He said arrangements could be made with the municipality and the Mpumalanga Veterinary Services to slaughter and bury infected animals.

African swine flu exists in wild pigs and can be transmitted through close contact.

Mr Motlhankana said symptoms varied, including high fever, reddening of the ears, vomiting, and coughing.

He emphasised the virus could not be passed on to humans.