Amid second wave of COVID-19, 4 Mizoram districts declared epicentres of African Swine Fever

While the country is fighting the deadly coronavirus at the moment, some areas in four districts of Mizoram have been declared as epicentres of the African swine fever (ASF) that has so far killed around 1,119 pigs in a month. The dreaded pig disease has not only struck some pigs in Mizoram, leading to their deaths but has also caused a financial loss of more than Rs 4.47 crore. 

Dr. Lalhmingthanga, Joint Director (Livestock Health) of the State Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department said that the Indian government announced ASF as the cause of pig deaths in Mizoram following a laboratory test at the National Institute of High-Security Animal Disease Laboratory (NIHSAD) in Bhopal. It has also been reported that Lungsen village and Lunglei Electric Veng locality in Lunglei district, Armed Veng and Edenthar neighbourhood in Aizawl district, Keitum village in Serchhip district and a locality (Vaipi-I) in Siaha town of the district have been declared as “epicentre” of African swine fever (ASF).

As per reports, around five districts are currently affected by ASF: Aizawl, Lunglei, Serchhip, Mamit and Siaha. Out of these five districts, four are declared as the epicentre of the disease while Mamit district is yet to be declared as the epicentres of this deadly pig disease.

African Swine Fever (ASF):

African Swine Fever (ASF) does not affect humans but can be catastrophic for pigs. The ASF is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease but is not a threat to human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans. The current outbreak of ASF in Mizoram is the first time that the disease has been reported in the state.

Arunachal Pradesh was the first state in the northeast to report “unusual” pig deaths in mid-2020. The disease was identified as ASF for first in India when domestic pigs started dying on a large scale in Assam last year. While in September 2019, the disease caused devastation among the pig population in China, which is the largest exporter and consumer of pork. The outbreak of the disease in China shot up the prices of pork by over 50 percent in the country.

ASF is a severe viral disease that affects both wild and domestic pigs typically resulting in an acute haemorrhagic fever. The disease has a case fatality rate (CFR) of almost 100 percent and can cause sudden deaths in pigs.

Preventive measures to curb the disease:

As of now, the government has not undertaken culling of pigs as it involves compensation. But some owners of the infected pigs voluntarily culled them as a preventive measure. Apart from this, the government has also taken massive containment measures to prevent the pig disease from spreading to other districts.

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