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India's ASF outbreak started in January - OIE

26th May 2020 / By Alistair Driver

The first outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in India occurred in late-January, according to the official notification of the disease from OIE, the global animal health body.

The OIE’s notifications shows a total of 11 outbreaks so far across two north eastern states bordering China, with 4,199 confirmed cases and 3,701 deaths in pigs, with another 10,920 ‘susceptible’ animals on the affected premises. Reports in the Indian media say more than 14,000 pigs have been culled in Assam alone. 

The first media reports of outbreaks in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh emerged earlier this month. But the OIE report dates the first three outbreaks in Arunachal Pradesh to January 26. The start dates for the other outbreaks span February, March and April.

It says the origin of the outbreak is ‘unknown or inconclusive’, but it is being widely reported in the Asian media that the virus is believed to have spread from thousands of carcasses that floated down the tributaries of a river originating in China.

Various control measures have been applied, including culling all susceptible pigs within 1km of the outbreaks. Assam’s pig population is estimated at over 2 million, including wild boar, the Diplomat reports.