KATHMANDU (CU)_It seems like when it rains bad news it tends to pour. The world just got over one pandemic but it doesn’t look like for some countries the bad luck has ended. African swine flu is no joke and it affect crops and crops of pigs overnight and then the whole lot becomes useless and most often than not also dead.
Nepal is right now taking the hit of African Swine flu as this article is being written where more than 15,000 domestic pigs have lost their lives from African Swine fever since its first outbreak in Nepal. Officials at the Department of Livestock Services under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development have stated that the very contagious disease has spread to several districts across the country and inflicted huge losses to farmers.
Barun Kumar Sharma, deputy director general at the department told states that “Infection of the African Swine fever virus still continues, as there is no medication available against the deadly virus, we can just ask farmers not to transport sick pigs from one place to another.”
The outbreak of deadly pig disease has been reported by sates media and the states listed below have taken the biggest hits, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Kavrepalanchok, Chitwan, Sunsari, Jhapa, Morang, Bardia, Dang, and Kaski districts. “Thousands of pigs have died of the deadly African swine fever,” said Dr Chandra Dhakal, information officer at the Department of Livestock Services under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development.
According to studies, African swine fever is a easily contractable pig disease. The virus is usually transmitted by direct contact with infected pigs, wild boars, and ticks. The virus is resilient enough that it can survive for several months in processed meat and up to a few years if the meat is frozen. The World Organization for Animal Health said that whilst the virus is “not a danger” to human health it could is very likely to cause a devastating impact on the pig population.
Research show that the virus may significantly impact food security as it spreads faster thus killing all the pigs in no time. Pigs are one of the key sources of food in Nepal. For right now there has not been an effective vaccine found against African swine fever, according to medicine.
Dr Dibesh Karmacharya, chairman at the Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal and Biovac Nepal made the comment that “The virus is highly contagious. It can have up to 100 percent mortality rate in pigs, but there is no evidence of the transmission of the virus in humans”
The virus is very resistant in the environment this only means that it can survive on clothes, boots, wheels, and other materials, according to research done. The survival of the virus is also seen in various pork products like ham, sausage or bacon. The World Organization for Animal Health claimed that human behaviours can play an important role in spreading this pig disease across borders if adequate measures are not taken.
Experts in Nepal say there is no evidence that the virus has transmitted to humans and caused harm. However, it could inflict heavy damage to the farm sector. Karmacharya stated that “Each pig cost thousands of rupees and thousands died of the virus infection already, Authorities concerned should announce schemes to provide relief to affected farmers.”
The symptoms to look out for in African swine will be fever in a high temperature, loss of appetite, vomiting diarrhea, and difficulty in breathing and standing. The disease has reached multiple countries across Asia, including China and India, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Pacific, affecting both domestic and wild pigs.