Meghalaya detects African swine fever outbreak after Assam, Arunachal

Meghalaya is the third state in the country to see the outbreak of ASF. The two other affected states are Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Published: 13th August 2020 05:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2020 05:50 PM   |  A+A-

Pigs swine flu

For representational purposes

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The African swine fever (ASF), which killed over 17,000 domesticated pigs in Assam in recent months, has now been detected in parts of Meghalaya.

Samples tested at the Guwahati-based North Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostics Laboratory (NERDDL) confirmed the outbreak of the disease in Meghalaya. The samples were collected from the state’s Ri Bhoi, East Khasi Hills and West Jaintia Hills districts after the sudden deaths of some pigs.

“Nine samples tested in our laboratory were found to be positive for ASF during screening. We sent those to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal on Tuesday for retests,” Dr Pradip Gogoi, who is the deputy director (in-charge) of Animal Health Centre of the NERDDL, said.

The Lamin village in West Jaintia Hills had accounted for around 15 pig deaths in the first week of August. Similar deaths were reported also from two other districts. The sudden deaths had made the authorities to collect the samples and send them to the NERDDL for laboratory tests.

Meghalaya is the third state in the country to see the outbreak of ASF. The two other affected states are Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The deaths of pigs due to ASF were first recorded in Assam. Since its outbreak in February, it has killed over 17,000 pigs in the state.

In Arunachal, the disease had spread to the wild. A few months ago, the forest officials in the state had retrieved the carcasses of six wild boars in East Siang district. Several other wild boars were reported to have also died in Upper Siang district.

The ASF is a highly contagious haemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs caused by a large DNA virus of the Asfarviridae family, which also infects ticks of the genus Ornithodoros. The disease was first detected in 1921 in Kenya. No vaccines or medicines have been discovered so far.


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