A quarter of the world's pigs could die due to African swine fever
The World Organization for Animal Health has warned that the spread of swine fever is expected to wipe out 25 percent of the world's pig population.
WORLD — Mark Schipp, vice president of the World Organization for Animal Health, stated in a press conference on October 31 that roughly a quarter of the pig population worldwide is expected to die off as a result of the spread of African swine fever.
African swine fever is spread through bites by infectious ticks, contact through infected animals, contact with objects containing the virus, or by ingesting the meat of infected animals. The disease is spread by the DNA virus of the Asfarviridae family.
Symptoms of the disease include high fever, redness on the ears, abdomen, legs as well as diarrhea.
The disease can be fatal for pigs, though it isn't transmissible to humans.
There is currently no approved vaccine to prevent the spread of the disease, according to the World Organization for Animal Health.
The swine fever outbreak has already claimed as many as 100 million pigs in China, the Guardian reports. This has resulted in rising pork prices around the world, mainly due to increasing demand from China.
European pork prices have reached a six-year high, while the U.S. has managed to double its sale of pork to China.
The African swine fever virus has already been identified in 50 countries around the world, including Poland, Russia, South Korea and the Philippines.
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