African swine fever crosses EU border

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Advancement of the deadly animal disease alarms experts

The highly contagious and mostly fatal African swine fever (ASP) is apparently moving with great strides from the east to the area of ​​the European Union. This is currently reported by the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut) (FLI). According to this, the dangerous animal epidemic also poses an increasing threat to German pig herds after the virus has been detected in Lithuanian wild boar.

Swine fever in Lithuania for the first time at the end of January 2014 The so-called "African swine fever" (or "African Swine Fever") is a serious virus infection that affects domestic and wild boar - humans and other domestic and wild animals are according to the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI), however, is not at risk. As the FLI currently reports, the African swine fever has now appeared for the first time in Lithuania in two regions on the border with Belarus at the end of January 2014 and has thus reached EU territory. Belarus had previously reported the first cases in the border region with Poland in June 2013. "Introduction into other countries of the European Union cannot be ruled out," according to the FLI - for example, about transport vehicles that come from affected regions or products from infected meat (ham, salami, etc.) of infected animals. According to the institute, "especially the (illegal) feeding of food waste [..] is a source of infection."

Virus is “extremely stable and is transmitted very efficiently, especially via blood” As Sandra Blome, head of the National Reference Laboratory for African Swine Fever at the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute reports, the virus is considered highly infectious and “extremely stable and especially becomes particularly virulent in wild and domestic pigs transmitted very efficiently via blood ”-“ Without blood, the ability to infect is moderate, so that there is no need for an explosive spread in a stock, ”said the ASP expert in an article in the science magazine“ Research Report ”.

Almost every infected animal falls victim to the epidemic. It is particularly worrying that laboratory head Blome is concerned that African swine fever causes a very serious general illness "from which 100 percent of the animals concerned usually die within ten days." Cases occur non-specifically, including in the form of fever, breathing problems, refusal to eat or a blue coloration of the skin. So far there is no vaccine against the disease. If the virus were to spread here too, the affected herds would have to be culled in accordance with the "Ordinance on Protection against Swine Fever and African Swine Fever". In addition, restricted districts had to be set up and strict transport and trade restrictions had to be set up, Blome continued.

Introduction would have a devastating impact on the German pig industry. An introduction of the expert's plague after "devastating effects on the German pig industry" would have, because Germany is after China and the United States at the top of the world's largest pork producers with 5.5 million tons slaughter weight. According to the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, the virus probably came to Georgia from Africa in 2007 and spread from there to Lithuania via Russia.

Experts urge hunters to exercise extreme caution and care In view of the impending danger, the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut therefore urges hunters to exercise the greatest care and asks them to “report an increased occurrence of fallow deer (wild boar) to the responsible authority or to take appropriate samples (especially Sweat, lymph nodes, spleen, lungs). ”All pig keepers should adhere to the highest biosecurity standards at the institute - this includes, among other things, constant care by a veterinarian, limited movement of people and goods, in-house clothing, quarantine for Acquisitions and fixed transport management. If there are acute symptoms that cannot be clearly assigned to another disease and the animals do not respond to antibiotics, samples should also be forwarded to the institute responsible for testing for possible infection in the federal states.

"The virus is a big battleship" In order to get a concrete picture of the spread of swine fever, an EU commission is currently in Lithuania, which also includes an employee of the Friedrich Loeffler Institute. "The virus is a large battleship," said Blome to the news agency "dpa". Because the pathogen has various options for infecting its hosts - a suitable vaccine has unfortunately not yet been developed and is not in sight in the near future. For example, the virus can spread from wild boar group to wild boar group to the west, but also, for example, through food waste containing infected meat products that tourists leave behind at rest areas or campsites and then eaten by the animals. Since Lithuania is also a very popular target among hunters, trophies and insufficiently cleaned hunting equipment could ensure that the virus quickly spreads to other areas, the expert further told dpa. (No)

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Video: African Swine Fever ASF: Clinical Presentation and Diagnosis

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