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African swine fever killed over 9,000 pigs in Mizoram

African swine fever (ASF) has wreaked havoc in piggeries across 10 of Mizoram’s 11 districts. In a span of just three months, the disease has killed more than 9,000 pigs in the state.

In 2020, ASF had hit Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Manipur. But Mizoram remained safe due to the ban on the import of pigs and pork from other states and neighboring countries. The ASF infiltrated Mizoram when the COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed in the state.

ASF is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and feral swine of all ages. It is caused by a double-stranded DNA virus in the Asfarviridae family.

The first ASF outbreak was reported 100 years ago in Kenya. Symptoms of ASF are high fever, loss of appetite, hemorrhages in the skin and internal organs. An infected pig usually dies in 2-10 days. The disease has a mortality rate of 100 per cent.

There are no vaccines or treatments available for the ASF and culling is the only means to curb an outbreak. ASF is not a threat to humans as it cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans. 

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