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ADDL Outbreak Preparedness: African Swine Fever

ADDL Outbreak Preparedness: African Swine Fever

In August 2018, China reported its first outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF). Recently, the disease has spread through China, Mongolia and Vietnam, as well as within parts of the European Union. ASF has never been found in the United States.
 
The Ohio ADDL works closely with USDA APHIS and WS, the swine industry, and practitioners to prepare to respond to an ASF detection or outbreak within the United States. The ADDL has multiple staff which have demonstrated competency by successfully completing ASFV PCR Proficiency Tests provided by USDA NVSL. This ensures increased capacity and rapid response for ASF testing. In February, ADDL joined state and federal animal health officials as well as swine producers in an ASF exercise of the Ohio ASF Response Plan. As a Level 1 NAHLN lab, ADDL is an important part of Ohio's animal disease outbreak team. 
 
African swine fever virus (ASFV) affects both domestic and wild pigs. It spreads very quickly and kills most pigs that get it. Fast detection is key to preventing disease spread and limiting the scope of an outbreak. No treatment or vaccine is currently available for ASF.
 
Humans cannot get ASF, but they can carry it on their clothing, shoes, and equipment. ASFV is also found in pork products that could potentially be fed to pigs in swill. An outbreak in the United States would have devastating economic effects on the swine industry.
 
More information about ASF can be found on the APHIS ASF webpage.

Melanie Prarat, MS, Virology Section