African Swine Fever breaks out in Tripura, Mass execution of pigs ordered in govt-run farm 

African Swine fever in Tripura: A total of 63 mature pigs had died in a govt-run farm in Tripura due to unknown reasons which raised an alarm. The state government has ordered the mass execution of pigs to curb the spread of the viral fever. 

Representative Image
Representative Image

African Swine Fever India: African Swine Fever (ASF) cases have been detected in a government breeding farm in Tripura. The farm is located in Devipur, Sepahijala district and is run by the state's Animal Resources Development Department (ARDD). A total of 63 mature pigs had died on the farm due to unknown reasons which raised an alarm. The state government has ordered the mass execution of pigs to curb the spread of the viral fever. 

An expert team from Tripura's disease investigation Centre had reached the farm and formed rapid response teams to handle the situation. Three samples were sent to the state's North Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for testing on April 7 and the PCR report received on April 13 confirmed their positive result.

The symptoms of the pigs in the farm indicate that the contagious African Swine Fever has spread in the farm. The state department is still awaiting one report from Bhopal's National Disease Diagnostic institute.

African Swine Fever in Tripura: How is the state handling the breakout?

  • The farmworkers have been advised to deal with the disease primarily.
  • The state has formed two task forces comprising ten people each and they will be led by a veterinary officer.
  • The teams will directly report to the panel of nodal officers including ARDD's Disease Investigation laboratory in-charge Dr. Mrinal Dutta and SDM Bishalgarh.
  • The state has dug up 8 feet by 8 feet graves to bury the infected pigs after mass execution. All the pigs are being reared in a private capacity.
  • In the initial phase, the pigs sheltered within 1km of the farm will be executed and buried to contain the spread of the disease. 
  • The authorities are trying to confine the disease within the farm and its peripheries to prevent its spread across the state.
  • There were 265 mature pigs and 185 piglets in the pig shed of the farm before the outbreak of the fever.

African Swine Fever Mizoram

Mizoram has already banned the import of pigs and pork products from other states after the breakout of African Swine Fever in the state this year. 

Around 124 pigs have been executed in the state to prevent the spread of the infection since February 2022. A total of 770 pigs have died within two months in the state due to the disease. 

Overall, 33,417 pigs have died in Mizoram due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever last year. The infection was reported for the first time in the state in March 2021. 

At least 17 villages have been affected by the African Swine Fever in Mizoram including Aizawl, Lunglei, Champhai and Saitual. 

African Swine Fever: Know Origin. Cause, Symptoms, Treatment and Severity

What is African Swine Fever?

African swine fever (ASFV) is a highly contagious viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs. The disease results in high mortality. It is different than swine flu. 

What is the main cause of African swine fever?

It is caused by the African swine fever virus, a large double-stranded DNA virus in the Asfarviridae family. The virus causes a hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in domestic pigs. The virus can cause the death of animals as quickly as a week after infection.

The ASF virus is the only virus with a double-stranded DNA genome known to be transmitted by arthropods. The virus infects its natural hosts, warthogs, bushpigs, and soft ticks of the genus Ornithodoros, which act as a vector, with no sign of disease.

Can humans get African Swine Fever?

African swine fever cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans and is not a threat to human health.

Where did ASF come from?

African swine fever virus is endemic to the sub-Saharan Africa region and exists in the wild through a cycle of infection between ticks and wild pigs, bushpigs, and warthogs. It was first detected after European settlers brought pigs into areas endemic with the ASF VIRUS.

How does African Swine Fever spread?

The African Swine fever can be spread by ticks and swine eating pork products that contain the virus. The virus can also be transmitted by direct or indirect contact with infected pigs, feces or body fluids. The virus can survive for 11 days in pig feces and months or years in pork products.

What is African Swine Fever symptoms?

The severe form of African Swine Fever, caused by highly virulent strains, can cause high fever among the pigs. The other symptoms include loss of appetite and abnormal breathing and shivering. 

In milder cases of infection, the affected pigs will lose weight and develop signs of pneumonia, swollen joints and skin ulcers.

Which Indian state witnessed African Swine fever?

So far only Mizoram had been severely affected by African Swine Fever (ASF) since March 2021. Recently, cases of infection have been reported in Tripura as well. 

Is there a cure for African Swine Fever?

There is no cure or vaccine for the African Swine Fever currently. It poses a major threat to pig production, food security and biodiversity across the world. 

Where has African swine fever has been found?

African Swine Fever is now found in countries around the world. Recently, it was detected in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The infection has also spread to parts of the European Union, China, Mongolia and Vietnam.

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