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New swine fever case in Russia's Far East

Reuters reports that new cases of African swine fever have been confirmed by local authorities in the Amur region of Russia.

21 August 2019, at 10:53am

According to the report published this morning (21 August), the infected pigs were found at two private farms in the village of Volkovo. No official report has been published by the OIE disease alert system yet.

Earlier this month an ASF outbreak was detected at a small farm in Russia’s Primorsk region near the border with China, which has reported more than 140 cases of the incurable disease since it was first found in the country last August.

About African swine fever

Clinical signs

  • High fever 40-42°C.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Depression.
  • Lethargic- sometimes refusal to stand or move.
  • Very unsteady when stood up.
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea with bloody discharge.
  • White skinned pigs: extremities (nose, ears, tail and lower legs) become cyanotic (blue-purple colour).
  • Discrete haemorrhages appear in the skin particularly on the ears and flanks.
  • Group will huddle together and are usually shivering.
  • Abnormal breathing.
  • Heavy discharge from eyes and/or nose.
  • Comatose state and death within a few days.
  • Some pigs can show conjunctivitis with reddening of the conjunctival mucosa and ocular discharges.

Pregnant sows commonly undergo miscarriage or deliver stillborn piglets that are malformed – piglets can be tested for the virus.

Mortality rate in infected groups of pigs is high and there is no vaccination proven to prevent or cure infection, therefore, it is crucial that control begins on-farm. European, South American and Caribbean countries which have been infected have adopted a slaughter policy to eradicate the virus within the herd. Mild strains of the virus also occur which cause a milder but equally serious disease in domestic pig herds – individuals from these herds must also be slaughtered to prevent pathogenesis.

For more information on the transmission of ASF and prevention strategies, click here.