Romania reports new ASF cases in domestic pigs

Romania has confirmed new cases of African swine fever (ASF) in domestic pigs, while 137 more wild boar have been found to be infected with the virus in central and eastern Europe.

Photo by Andrea Gantz

No other European countries report ASF in pigs, but more infected wild boar have been detected

Of the European countries, only Romania has confirmed new cases of African swine fever (ASF) in domestic pigs. Across central and eastern Europe, 137 more wild boar have been found to be infected with the virus.

Between March 24 and April 3, six outbreaks of ASF were confirmed in Romania. All involved small backyard herds ranging in size from three to 30 animals, according to the official report from the national veterinary agency to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). A total of 102 pigs were affected, including 11 that died, and the rest have been destroyed.

As the reporting period covers the Easter period, it is possible that there have been delays in surveillance and testing for the disease.

So far this year, 228 outbreaks of ASF have been confirmed in domestic pigs in Europe, according to the April 12 update from the European Commission (EC). This total has risen by just three over a period of seven days that includes the Easter holidays.

From this source, worst affected has been Romania — with 203 outbreaks, which accounted for all the new cases from the previous week. For other countries, the totals are unchanged: Bulgaria (16), Ukraine (5), Poland (2), and Greece and Moldova, each with one registered one outbreak since the start of the year.

ASF outbreaks in wild boar approach 4,500

Up to April 12, the EC had recorded 4,476 confirmed ASF outbreaks among Europe’s wild boar population so far this year. This represents an increase of 137 from the previous week’s total. Again, reporting of new cases may have been interrupted by the holiday weekend.

At 1,976 and 1,536, respectively, Poland and Hungary have reported the highest number of cases since the start of 2020. The Polish total has risen by 102 from the previous week.

Other countries that have reported significant numbers of ASF-infected wild boar to the EC so far this year are Romania (411 cases), Bulgaria (207), Latvia (91), Lithuania (76) and Slovakia (57). Italy, Serbia, Estonia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belgium have also confirmed ASF in wild boar this year, but in no more than 40 animals.

During the past week, the country reporting the highest number of ASF cases in wild boar to the OIE was Hungary with 215 new cases. Of this total, 125 were found as a cluster in one northeastern region.

Other European countries reporting new cases in wild boar to the OIE over the past week were Poland (117 animals), Romania (26), and Moldova (14). While other countries are reporting recent cases of ASF in wild boar, those in Poland cover the period December 12 to January 16.

In the U.S., some research on ASF has been curtailed since the onset of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. At some locations, precious resources are being reallocated to the investigation of the human disease.

View our continuing coverage of the global African swine fever situation.

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