Deadly African swine flu creeps into Tripura amid Covid-19 pandemic

INDIA – Despite the fact that the Northeast is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, fresh outbreaks of the African Swine Flu has been reported in the district of Tripura, where a large number of pigs have died in the government farm in Kachanpur. `

This deadly outbreak comes shortly after the swine flu ravished pigs in the neighboring Mizoram state.

Mizoram has been battling both COVID-19 pandemic and African swine fever since March this year, which has so far killed 28,000 pigs in all the state’s 11 districts making the state the epicenter of the ASF in India.

African swine fever is fatal to pigs but has not been linked to human illness. Due to the lack of a commercial vaccine, authorities are relying on strict biosecurity measures and the culling of susceptible animals to keep the disease at bay.

Because of lack of treatment and vaccines, it responsible for serious economic and production losses and cannot be eradicated in areas with soft ticks and feral pigs.

“A team of veterinary doctors and experts are now camping in Kachanpur and they in collaboration with local officials and volunteers have so far culled 37 pigs and maximum surveillance is being done to prevent the spread of the disease in the adjoining subdivisions,” said Sasikumar.

The deaths of so many pigs have resulted in financial loss of approximately Rs 1.21 billion since late March.

According to a senior official from the state Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Department, state officials had to authorize the culling of nearly 9,500 pigs to prevent the spread of disease, adding that the disease is under control in a few districts and still prevalent in some.

Still in a bid to contain the outbreak, the Northeastern states have sounded a high alert to pig farmers to desist from bringing pigs and piglets from the neighboring states and countries, particularly Myanmar.

According to a Central Government advisory, ASF is a highly contagious disease that affects both domestic and wild pigs and has a 100% mortality rate.

The advisory further said that, the disease is already prevalent in China, Myanmar, and Nepal; thus, the bordering Indian states should remain on high alert on movement of pigs and pig products into their territory.

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