Medicine

Swine fever hits China for the tenth time

Swine fever hits China for the tenth time

Bans on pork products from China may be widened as part of emergency measures to stem the global spread of African swine fever.

China identified a new outbreak of African swine fever in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said Wednesday.

According to the FAO, ASF is one of the most devastating diseases affecting pigs, though it poses no direct threat to human health.

African swine fever does not affect humans but causes haemorrhagic fever in pigs and wild boars that is almost always fatal. Many cases are more than a thousand kilometers apart.

Eight new outbreaks have confirmed in less than a week and with the 13 cases overall spread across five provinces and up to 3,000 km between them, there is growing concern about the scale of the outbreak in China and the risk to other countries in Asia.

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The situation should serve as an opportunity to warn travellers not to bring pig meat products from outside the European Union into any EU member state, they said. "And once it spreads to Asian countries, we could have big social chaos and instability", said Young S Lyoo, from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Konkuk University in South Korea. "We have not seen the end of it". "It will affect trade, it will affect market prices".

Now in an attempt to contain the already-spreading outbreak within China, the FAO called worldwide specialists, particularly those from China and its neighboring countries - Cambodia, Japan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam - to the emergency meeting.

Although China is a major pork producer, the majority of its production is consumed domestically.

Small quantities of pork-containing products may be shipped internationally and possibly illegally, in food carried across borders, representing a risk to other countries, Wantanee said.


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