ASF Easy to Mistake for Other Infections

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Farmscape for December 31, 2018

Full Interview 9:02 Listen

The Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center warns the spread of African Swine Fever in both China and Europe has shown this virus can be easily mistaken for other infections. Officially Chinese authorities are saying African Swine Fever is coming under control and they are starting to release some provinces from quarantine but unofficially we hear that ASF is vibrant in China and continues to move across the country and continues to infect pigs. Dr. Paul Sundberg, the Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center, says the Chinese experience has shown this virus is easy to mistake for other infections.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
Probably one of the most important lessons from both China and Europe. as we’re watching the infections and how they play out on the farms, is that we most probably can expect that if we get ASF that it won’t be a Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea or PED type of outbreak. All of the pigs on the farm do not get sick at the same time. It’s very easy to mix this infection up with other infections that you may see more routinely like PRRS or like Septicemic Salmonella, some other things that are going on on our farms. So it might be easy to miss because it isn’t an epidemic type outbreak on the farm where all the pigs get sick at once and all the pigs die. It is more insidious and, while it moves through the farm steadily, it isn’t a big outbreak all at once so that’s really important message and a really important lesson to be learned from the way that we’re watching this virus perform on the farms both in Europe and in China.

Dr. Sundberg says the experiences in other regions underscores the importance of maintaining daily biosecurity and of involving a veterinarian every time a health event occurs to confirm that it’s not African Swine Fever.

For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork

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