African swine fever


African swine fever is also called Montgomery disease. It was first recorded at the beginning of the 20th century in South Africa. After that, in a rather short period of time, she "moved" to Spain, Portugal, America, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, and cases of swine became more frequent in Russia and Ukraine. Initially, only wild boars hurt her, but over time, she began to threaten simple domestic pigs.

What is African swine fever?

African swine fever (ASF) is an infectious disease that causes a number of very serious symptoms in pigs that directly threaten their lives. When examining the internal organs of diseased animals, many foci of hemorrhage are found, some organs increase greatly, others swell.

The causative agent of the disease is the virus Asfivirus, and it is precisely this that distinguishes the disease from simple swine fever, which is caused by the Pestivirus virus. At the moment, there are several genotypes and sero-immunotypes of the virus, each of which has, in fact, minor differences.

Destroy all livestock pigs

The genome of African plague is very strong, it can survive at very low and high temperatures, drying, high acidity, rotting, freezing. And with all this, it remains active.

In swine meat, this virus can live up to several months and be transmitted if it is not subjected to careful heat treatment. But experts and doctors say that ASF is harmless to a person if meat is well cooked or boiled before eating at a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius and above.

Important! For humans, African swine fever is not dangerous.

How is the virus transmitted?

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African swine fever is transmitted through the skin, the oral cavity through direct contact with an infected individual. It is for this reason that the disease always reaches a wide scale. Almost all individuals in the stall die if they live together and among them there is at least one infected pig.

Also, the virus can enter the body of a pig through the bites of insects that carry it (lice, ticks, zoophilic flies). Rodents, birds and even people who have contact with infected pigs are also suffering from the disease. So healthy individuals in the stall do not provide 100% confidence that the disease will not appear sometime.

The disease can "come" in the economy and with poor-quality food. African swine fever lives quietly in spoiled food waste, which is usually fed to pigs. Walking pigs in places where the influence of the virus was previously not recommended, as it can live in the ground.

Damage may occur regardless of gender, breed or age of the pig. So all the animals that live together are at risk.

The main symptoms of the disease

The incubation period of the virus is 5-15 days. But in real life, he can stay for 1-2 weeks. It all depends not only on the virus itself, but also on how, where the pig was infected, its immune system and the number of virions that got into its body. There are hyperacute, acute, subacute and chronic forms of African swine fever.

  • Super acute disease develops instantly, and death occurs suddenly. In this case, the breeder may not know about the disease, and only then find out about the causes of death of the animal. Symptoms of this form are not.
  • The acute form develops up to a week. It proceeds with a high temperature (40.5-45 degrees), weakness, shortness of breath, lethargy, paresis of the limbs, purulent discharge from the nose, eyes, vomiting, diarrhea with blood. Bruises appear in the skin in the lower part of the neck, perineum, abdomen, and ears. Perhaps the development of pneumonia, pregnant females lose babies. A few hours before death, the temperature greatly decreases, then the pig falls into a coma and dies.
  • Sub-form lasts 15-20 days. There may be fever, lethargy. Death usually occurs as a result of heart failure.
  • Chronic form is accompanied by secondary infections. Symptoms are periodic attacks of shortness of breath, fever. Wounds appear on the skin that do not heal even with enhanced treatment. The pig lags behind in development, looks very sluggish, does not eat up. Developed tendovaginitis, arthritis.

How to diagnose African plague?

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As mentioned above, not all forms of this disease have symptoms at all, but in most cases it is possible to recognize the disease. The first characteristic is cyanotic spots on the body of an animal. Immediately after their appearance, you need to contact the veterinary service and isolate the sick individual from any contact with other animals.

Veterinarians usually do tests (without them not detecting the virus reliably), conduct studies of the common herd and sick individual, monitor their changes, and then make a diagnosis. In the case of ASF begins to establish the causes of its occurrence and further development. African swine fever differs from simple swine fever through differential diagnosis.

Treatment of African swine fever

There is currently no vaccine against African swine fever. It is useless to treat the disease and it is even prohibited, given the rapid spread of the virus. This can only lead to new infections and lead to a real epidemic.

It is worth noting that before the death rate from African swine fever was 100% and it usually proceeded in severe forms. But now the cases of chronic disease progression have become more frequent.

Measures that are performed when a disease is detected can be called abruptly cardinal, but this alone can stop the spread of the virus. The first thing to do is to destroy all the herd of pigs that are on the farm, even those individuals that seem to be healthy. Hammer them with bloodless method. After that, all pigs are burned along with items to care for them, feed, bedding in the barn. Ideally, it is also necessary to burn the crib, but this is not always possible.

The resulting ash is mixed with a large amount of lime and buried in the ground to a considerable depth. Pig farms and all surrounding areas, the building, are treated with 3% hot sodium hydroxide solution and 2% formaldehyde solution. For a whole year, the owners of the farm where the disease was discovered are prohibited from raising animals.

All domestic animals within 10 km from the source of ignition of the disease are slaughtered and processed into canned food, and quarantine is declared in the region. This is the only way African swine fever is currently holding back.

What preventive measures exist?

To protect the herd from African swine fever, breeders should take preventive measures.

  1. Animals must be vaccinated on time against simple plague and erysipelas. This will improve the immunity of the animal and its resistance to African swine fever.
  2. Free range is better not to allow, and keep pigs only in fenced areas.
  3. African swine fever can occur by different methods, so from time to time there is a complete disinfection of the room from pests and insects.
  4. Pigs are examined by a veterinarian in time, treated from small parasites.
  5. Food should be given only quality, certified and fresh. Spoiled food, leftovers from the table, cheap food can have a virus in it.
  6. It is worth buying pigs only in the checked places in the presence of all relevant documents from sellers.