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African swine fever returns to Zambia

Zambia, South Africa, Ghana and Haiti among the places reporting new cases of African swine fever.

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African swine fever (ASF) has recently been detected again in pigs in Zambia, while new cases were reported in 4 provinces of South Africa, and in Ghana.

After a six-month hiatus, ASF has been detected again in the East African state of Zambia.

At the start of March, two herds of pigs totaling 31 animals were affected, according to the official notification to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Located in the Kafue district of Lusaka province, both affected premises were described by the Zambian animal health agency as veterinary camps.

Source of the latest infection is unknown.

The province surrounds the Zambian capital city of the same name, and Kafue district shares a border with Zimbabwe.

Further ASF outbreaks reported in South Africa

Also registering the first ASF outbreak after a three-month break from the disease is the South African province of Eastern Cape.

According to the official OIE report, 12 out of 250 pigs in a village herd died in early February.

The first cases since October 2021, these bring to 16 the number of related outbreaks since April 2020. Directly impacted have been almost 8,600 pigs.

In a parallel disease wave reported separately, the nation’s veterinary authority has confirmed seven new ASF outbreaks to the OIE since the start of March.

While the first of these outbreaks dates back to December 2021 and affected a small farm in Free State, the largest outbreak was among 175 village pigs in the same state in February. Around the same time, further cases were identified at a small farm in Mpumalanga. More recently, pigs have tested positive for the ASF virus on two farms and one backyard in Gauteng.

In this outbreak series, 94 outbreaks have been reported to the OIE, and more than 44,200 pigs have been directly impacted.

ASF spreads further in Ghana

During March, veterinary support was dispatched to the central-southern district of Ashanti after ASF was detected among pigs there.

For the third time since 2010, ASF virus has been detected at four farms in Tepa, reported Ghana Web. Around 570 pigs were confirmed dead, and local officials were working to prevent further spread of the infection.

The regional director of veterinary services blamed these outbreaks on some local pig owners who had disregarded biosecurity protocols. To rectify this, the additional supporters were tasked with ensuring the correct measures are being followed. Among these is a ban on the movement of pigs into and out the municipality of Ahafo Ano North.

ASF update from the Caribbean

Since the 1980s, the Dominican Republic and Haiti had been free of ASF until last year.

While no official report has been submitted to the OIE since January, local media report that an outbreak of ASF was confirmed at an experimental farm in Haiti in February.

At the time, Le Nouvelliste reported that several dozen pigs at the facility were culled and destroyed at the facility in Arcahaie.

As of February 24, this source reported 96 ASF-positive pigs and 34 outbreaks in Haiti since September 2021. The virus has been detected in seven of the nation’s 10 departments. To prevent further and more widespread losses from the disease, the agriculture ministry has announced increased efforts to detect new cases and then control outbreaks.

Latest official report to the OIE from the Dominican Republic was in mid-February. At that time, total confirmed outbreaks had reached 224, with the most recent cases confirmed in early January. At that point, cases had been detected in more than 18,000 pigs in 26 of the country’s 32 administrative regions.

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

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