what to do absolutely and what never to do

In recent weeks we have returned to talk a lot about over the pig, after the detection of the virus on a wild boar found in the North West of Rome, where a “red zone” was also taken (here what it means). Let’s start by saying that African swine fever is one viral disease of pigs and wild boars, usually fatal.

There are no vaccines or treatments, which is why it is a very harmful disease that causes serious socio-economic consequences in the countries where it is widespread. Let’s clear away any doubts by immediately saying, as also specified by the Ministry of Health, that swine fever it cannot be transmitted to man in no way, so the virus cannot be dangerous for us.

How long the virus resists

The presence of the virus in the animal’s blood lasts from 4 to 5 days. The more aggressive strains of the virus are generally lethal: death occurs quickly, within 10 days from the onset of the first symptoms. Animals infected with less aggressive strains of the African swine fever virus may not show typical clinical signs.

Animals that survive the disease can remain carriers of the virus for about a yearthus playing a fundamental role for the persistence of the virus in endemic areas and for its transmission.

The virus has good resistance in the external environment and can remain viable for up to 100 days, surviving inside cured meats for a few months or resisting high temperatures. In collected blood it is detectable for up to 18 months.

How to take it

The illness it spreads directly for:

  • contact with infected animals, including contact between free-range pigs and wild boars;
  • ingestion of meat or meat products from infected animals: kitchen waste, broth based on food waste and infected wild boar meat, including offal;
  • contact with any objects contaminated with the virus, such as clothing, vehicles, and other equipment;
  • bites of infected ticks.

The movement of infected animals, contaminated pork products and illegal disposal of carcasses are the most important ways of spreading the disease.

I sintomi

African swine fever is a disease caused by a virus that is not dangerous to humans, but almost always fatal within a few days for infected wild boars. The disease has no specific symptoms, other than treatment-resistant fever or sudden death.

Typical signs of African swine fever are similar to those of classical swine fever and to distinguish one from the other a laboratory diagnosis is required: immunofluorescence, PCR, ELISA and Immunoperoxidase.

Sudden death can also occur. THE main symptoms in affected animals I am:

  • fever
  • loss of appetite
  • weakness of the hindquarters with consequent uncertain gait
  • breathing difficulties and oculo-nasal discharge
  • constipation
  • spontaneous abortions
  • internal bleeding
  • noticeable bleeding on the ears and hips.

What happens if you eat infected meat

Eating meat or food products containing pork is safe.

Pork products can be safely consumed, because as seen the plague virus ASF is not transmissible to humans.

What to do

There is currently no vaccine for African swine fever. As foreseen by the National Surveillance Plan and by the sector regulations, when one or more symptoms are found such as to make one suspect the presence of ASF in a pig farm, veterinary services must be notified immediately competent for the territory.

Similarly, when a wild boar carcass is found in the environment, or following a road accident involving a wild boar, it is necessary to report the event to the veterinary services, the police or park authorities, forest guards, or contact the numbers. regional greens.

Anyone from areas where the disease is present can represent an unwitting vehicle for transmitting the virus to animals. It is therefore essential to adopt a series of correct behaviors and precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.

For everyone

  • do not bring to Italy, from infected community areas, pork or wild boar-based products, such as, for example, fresh meat and frozen meat, sausages, hams, lard, which are not labeled with an oval health mark
  • dispose of food waste, of any type, in suitable and closed containers and do not administer it for any reason to domestic pigs or wild boars
  • do not leave food waste in areas accessible to wild boars
  • promptly inform the veterinary services of the discovery of a wild boar carcass.

For hunters

  • clean and disinfect equipment, clothing, vehicles and trophies before leaving the hunting area
  • gutting culled wild boars only in designated facilities
  • avoid contact with domestic pigs after hunting.

For breeders

  • Respect the biosecurity regulations, in particular the change of clothing and footwear when entering or leaving the farm
  • avoid contacts, even indirect ones, with wild boars or pigs from other farms
  • promptly notify the veterinary services of symptoms related to ASF and episodes of abnormal mortality
  • Always dispose of fresh and cured pork residues from infected animals in closed waste containers, which can represent a serious risk of disease transmission to healthy animals.