The danger of African swine fever for humans


One of the serious and dangerous infectious diseases is the African swine fever (ASF). The number of deaths among wild and domestic animals is very high.The virus affects all livestock, despite the age and quality of piglets. One thing is gratifying that ASF is not passed on to a person, but agriculture causes a big loss, because the serum has not yet been developed for the treatment of this disease. In this article, you will learn about the symptoms of this disease and the methods of prevention.


Table of contents

  • African swine fever
  • First signs and symptoms
  • Chronic and atypical form of the disease
  • Diagnostics of ASF
  • Virus treatment, quarantine
  • Classical methods of disease prevention
  • Is African swine plague dangerous for humans and is it possible to eat such meat?

African swine fever

African swine fever is the infectious pathology of animals.Source of disease- DNA that contains the virus. It is classified as a separate category. There are A and B species of this virus, as well as subspecies C. It is resistant to changes in temperature, does not lend itself to freezing, rotting and drying.

ASF came to us from South Africa. The first signs of the appearance of pathology were recorded in 1903. After that, the virus appeared in Portugal and Spain, and from there to Central and South America. For today, the probability of infection with the plague is in any part of the world.

Carcases of pigs infected with ASF

Infectious or recovered pigs are carriers of the infection, which are carried in themselves by the pathogen up to 18 months.

Infection enters the body through damaged mucous membranes, skin, blood, insect bites, with contaminated food and alimentary. With the appearance of the first signs, about 37% of the livestock become victims of the disease. This disease is dangerous, regardless of where the animal is kept.


First signs and symptoms

The incubation periodlasts 1-2 weeks. Therefore, to diagnose immediately and correctly does not always succeed. Depending on the degree of the disease,there are different signs:

  • hightemperature(above 40 ° C);
  • lack of appetite;
  • manifestation of apathy;
  • difficultbreath;
Symptoms of African swine fever
  • allotmentfrom the nose and eyes;
  • in some cases -molting;
  • abruptcase;
  • motor impairment;
  • failure of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • bruising, subcutaneous edema;
  • variable fever;
  • pneumonia;

Due to the variability of the symptoms (mutation of the virus), they may not manifest in all animals.


Chronic and atypical form of the disease

Depending on the degree of infection,distinguish between chronic and atypical form of the disease.

Chronic form of the plaguecan last up to two months or more. Pigs suffer from periodic diarrhea, fever attacks, impaired appetite, and pneumonia. Animals lose weight, the skin frowns, bruises on the ears, tail and extremities appear. With this form of disease, clinical signs can vary greatly.All cases of infection end in the form of deaths with a lethal outcome. The virus is not excreted from the body, and such pigs remain carriers of the virus.

Quarantine due to African swine fever

Atypical form of the American virusIt is often diagnosed in piglets-suckers and weaners, who have maternal immunity, or they are infected with a weakly virulent virus of serogroup B. At the first stages of the disease, the plague is clinically manifested by a failure of food, conjunctivitis, bruising. Some of the piglets recover completely, while the rest have complications with secondary bacterial viruses. Because of this, there is massive pneumonia and gastroenterocolitis, which ends with the death of the animal for three days. Infected pigs do not recover until the end and remain carriers of the disease for a long time.Mortalityin such cases is 30 - 60%.

To date, there has not yet been developed an effective vaccine against this disease, and there are also no drugs that could be cured. The mortality rate of diseased animals is almost 100%.

Diagnostics of ASF

Without laboratory studies, it is impossible to establish an accurate diagnosis of the African plague.Diagnosis is carried out on the basis of pathoanatomical and epizootic data, clinical symptoms and laboratory test results. To do this, sick animals take a blood sample, and from the corpses - fragments of organs.

Laboratory analysis of pigs

Delivery of particles of the spleen from a larger number of animals is carried out if it is possible to isolate the virus and establish a pathology. Biomaterial is transferred in a qualitative form, and delivered in a short time. Therefore, each particle is placed in an individual sachet, and then into a container with ice.Fragments must not be frozenI, it is enough simple cooling.


Blood sample for serological ELISA (ELISA)should be taken from animals that are ill for a long time or in contact with infected piglets, and suspected of being infected with the plague virus.


Virus treatment, quarantine

For today, no drugs have been developed to combat this disease, andAfrican swine fever is considered fatal. In the first period of infection, which caused suspicion of ASF, some pig farms produce emergency vaccinations for all animals. Such measures allow saving some of the infected pigs. According to the technology of animal husbandry,all livestock is slaughteredon an isolated territory with the subsequent burning of corpses. Some household pig farms use an effective means of fighting ASF in the initial stages. The animal is poured into the mouth 100 - 150 grams of vodka. In most cases, the pig recovers.

Burning corpses of pigs

Classical methods of disease prevention

For,to prevent infectionPig farming, both in classical plague and in ASF, shouldfollow these rules:

  • Feeds are purchased in places where there are no viral infections.Carry out heat treatment before feeding;
  • systematicallyto disinfect the farm and storehouses with feed, as well as treatment against various parasites;
  • prevent pigs from contacting other farm animals, domestic animals and carnivorous birds that carry the infection;
Vaccination against ASF
  • Do not bring to the pig farm not disinfected inventory, as well as transport from an infected area that has not been processed;
  • to acquire pigs only with veterinary documents, which confirms the data on the health of the animal. The imported pigs should be isolated, before being introduced into the common corral;
  • regularlyto vaccinate against major diseases, do not forget to carry out veterinary examinations. Slaughter animals in specialized places.
At the slightest suspicion of infection, the pig must be quarantined, and the access to the remaining animals must be blocked. If necessary, send to slaughter.

Is African swine plague dangerous for humans and is it possible to eat such meat?

If you ask yourself: "Is it worth worrying about this disease to a person? It is very difficult to get an exact answer.For people, this disease does not pose a particular danger. More precisely, no cases of human infection have been documented. The production of diseased animals can be used in cooking, only after a long heat treatment (you can cook and fry meat, but smoking does not kill the viruses). But if you think about it, the risk of infection still exists. This disease, and it is not yet fully understood.A few examples of this:

  1. The ASF virus is not dangerous for people, but any infection weakens the protective reaction of any organism. There have been recorded cases of detection of antibodies against plague in the human body, which means the probability that people can tolerate this pathology without symptoms.
  2. Thisthe infection develops unexpectedly, being a single representative in the class of asfaviruses. The virus mutates, which can lead to an increase in its species. There is a risk that a person can become infected with it.
  3. There are data that indicate the detection of the virus in people withtropical fever. This infection can accompany the development of various serious diseases.
Isolation of sick pigs with African plague

It can be concluded thatAfrican swine fever is a huge danger to humans is not, but for safety it is necessary to avoid contact with infected pigs.

African swine fever is fatal. Caused by the special tenacity of the virus, which, when ingested into the body of a pig, begins rapid multiplication. Instantly affects animals within a radius of up to 10 km. Therefore, in most countries, at the government level,actions to prevent and control the infection of African swine fever, as well as an educational program about what can be and how to recognize the signs of African plague in pigs on time.

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