The virus causes a haemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in domestic pigs Credit: EastMojo image

Aizawl: The Mizoram government has sounded alert following the outbreak of African swine fever in some Southeast Asian countries.

Officials of state animal husbandry and veterinary (AH&Vety) department said there is possibility of the outbreak hitting Mizoram any time.

“The virus is more dangerous than Classical Swine Flu (CSF) and Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus. So massive precautionary measure has to be taken to avoid the outbreak,” an official said.

He said that the state government has constituted a committee on ‘Preparedness for African Swine Fever’ involving officials of animal husbandry and veterinary department and experts from college of veterinary sciences and animal husbandry to prevent possible outbreak of the swine disease.

Citing that the African swine flu is more dangerous than other common swine fever, AH&Vety department officials said any pig or piglet once infected with the disease has little chance of survival.

“The virus once spread could not be contained like other swine fever,” they said.

The officials also said that they will conduct a laboratory test on sausage imported from China as the country is currently being hit by African swine fever.

The disease, however, does not affect humans, they said.

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

The disease, which currently has no cure and doesn’t affect humans, has recently been reported to have hit Vietnam, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Cambodia, and North Korea.

Swine flu like PRRS and CSF had hit Mizoram across last year, killing more than 2,000 pigs.

The PRRS also hit Mizoram in 2013 and 2016, which caused the death of more than 3,000 pigs and piglets in 2013 and over 4,000 pigs were culled due to the outbreak of PRRS in 2016.

The state government has banned import of pigs and piglets from Myanmar and other neighbouring states.

So far, no new case of PRRS and CSF has been detected in the state.

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