Explained: What is African Swine Fever reported in India for the first time?

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News:In Assam, over 2,900 pigs have died due to African Swine Fever (ASF). This is the first time that an ASF outbreak has been reported in India.

Facts:

  • African Swine Fever: It is a highly contagious and fatal animal disease that infects and leads to an acute form of hemorrhagic fever in domestic and wild pigs.
  • Causes: It is caused by a large DNA virus of the Asfarviridae family.
  • Transmission: It is transmitted to pigs through: 
    • direct contact with infected domestic or wild swines
    • indirect contact through ingestion of contaminated substances or
    • contaminated material such as food waste, feed or garbage or through biological vectors such as ticks.
  • Human Transmission:It is not a threat to human beings since it only spreads from animals to other animals.
  • Mortality Rate:It is close to 100% and since the fever has no cure, the only way to stop it spreading is by culling the animals.
  • Difference: ASF is differentiated from Classical Swine Fever(CSF), whose signs may be similar to ASF but is caused by a different virus for which a vaccine exists.
  • The disease is listed in the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Terrestrial Animal Health Code and thus reported to the OIE.

Additional Facts:

World Organisation for Animal Health(OIE):

  • It is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1924 for improving animal health worldwide.
  • Members: In 2018,the OIE consists of 182 Member Countries and Territories.India is one of the member countries.
  • Headquarters: Paris,France.
  • It is also recognised as a reference organisation by the World Trade Organization(WTO).