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Introduction to African swine fever

African swine fever introduction
African swine fever and swine fever are both highly contagious and malignant pig diseases caused by viruses. The difference is that swine fever is a disease caused by the Flaviviridae family of RNA viruses, while African swine fever is a disease caused by the African swine fever virus family of DNA viruses.
  • Both DNA and RNA are genetic material.
  • RNA virus: single-stranded, less stable than DNA viruses, with low variability.
  • DNA virus: divided into single-strand and double-strand, African swine fever is a double-strand DNA virus, which can survive stably, with high variability and strong infection.
The virus has strong acid and alkali resistance and can survive at pH 4-13.
The virus can survive in refrigerated pork for 100 days, frozen pork for 1,000 days, pig house for 1 month, and stool for room temperature for 11 days.
The disease is mainly caused by contact infection and can be transmitted through food waste, arthropods, animal secretions or excretions, vehicles and personnel entrainment.
African swine fever is a common infectious disease for non-human animals. Currently, there is no vaccine available and the mortality rate can reach 100%.
In 1997, foot-and-mouth disease broke out in Taiwan. Under the prevention of failure, tens of millions of pigs were culled. Pork products were unsalable in the market and could not be exported to the country so far, which seriously affected the livestock industry in Taiwan.
It is not until more than 20 years later that Taiwan is expected to be removed from the foot-and-mouth disease area in 2019.
Such painful experience has made the Taiwan government more preventive against swine fever. African swine fever is more difficult to handle than foot and mouth disease. Because the former is highly contagious, the mortality rate of pigs is even as high as 100%. Unlike the foot-and-mouth disease, vaccines can be used.
Taiwan was once the world's largest pork exporter, mainly exported to Japan, and earned NT$50 billion a year during its heyday. However, in 1997, when the foot-and-mouth disease broke out, Taiwan's fresh pork could not enter the Japanese country. Until this year, Taiwan is expected to resume the export of fresh pork to Japan before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. During this sensitive period, Taiwan is extremely cautious about African swine fever.