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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 23 February, 2021

  • 5 Min Read

African Swine Fever Virus

  • Scientists have found a natural mutation in the African swine fever virus (ASFV) that could be less deadly than the strain that ravaged the world’s largest pig herd in 2018 and 2019.
  • ASFV is an intra cytoplasmically-replicating DNA arbovirus, which is the sole member of the family Asfarviridae.
  • ASF is a severe viral disease that affects wild and domestic pigs resulting in a highly lethal haemorrhagic fever, but doesn’t affect humans.
  • It has almost 100% case fatality rate (CFR).
  • Transmission of the ASFV could be through,
    1. Direct contact with an infected or wild pig (alive or dead),
    2. Indirect contact through ingestion of contaminated material such as feed or garbage, or through biological vectors like ticks.
  • Symptoms - High fever, depression, loss of appetite, haemorrhages in the skin, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhoea and sudden deaths in pigs.
  • Diagnosis - Laboratory testing to differentiate it from Classical Swine Fever (CSF), whose signs may be similar to ASF.
  • Even so, while ASF is lethal, there is no approved vaccine, which is also a reason why animals are culled to prevent the spread of infection.

Source: TH


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