By Frank Kamuntu
Kyenjojo: African swine fever (ASF), a highly contagious haemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs, which is responsible for serious economic and production losses has been confirmed in Kyenjojo district.
This was revealed by Dr Godfrey Kahuta, the District Veterinary Officer (DVO) Kyenjojo District who banned the movement and slaughtering of pigs for three months with an aim of controlling a deadly disease.
Kahuta said that many areas in the district have been affected with this contagious disease. These include Sub Counties; Katooke, Butunduzi, Nyankwanzi, Kyarusozi, and others, though the exact number of dead pigs is not yet confirmed.
Lillian Kabasomi a resident of Butunduzi Sub County and a business lady dealing in piggery told this reporter that even though an outbreak has been declared, there is no district official who have come on ground to provide to them solutions for this attack.
Worried Kabasomi added that all her pigs might die because she is not yet aware of the control measures other than keeping her pigs in a pigsty.
Isaac Kawonawo the Kyenjojo Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC), said that he has already conducted some sensitization on radios telling farmers that the first step to prevent the spread of the disease is to ensure no movement of pigs.
He added that using police, they have closed all the pork joints in the district for three months.
Whereas Dr Kahuta said that they are going to start a massive campaign of sensitizing all the farmers in the district to prevent their animals from getting infected because the disease has not cure with mortality or up to 80 percent.
The epidemiology of ASF is complex and varies depending on the environment, types of pig production systems, the presence/absence of competent tick vectors, human behaviour, and the presence/absence of wild pigs.Routes of transmission can include:
- direct contact with infected domestic or wild pigs;
- indirect contact, through ingestion of contaminated material (e.g. food waste, feed, or garbage);
- contaminated fomites, or biological vectors (soft ticks of the genus Ornithodoros) where present.
Public health risk
ASF is not a risk to human health.
Clinical signs and mortality rates can vary according to the virulence of the virus and the type/species of pig:
Acute forms of ASF are characterised by high fever, depression, anorexia and loss of appetite, haemorrhages in the skin (redness of skin on ears, abdomen and legs), abortion in pregnant sows, cyanosis, vomiting, diarrhoea and death within 6-13 days (or up to 20 days). Mortality rates may be as high as 100%.
Subacute and chronic forms are caused by moderately or low virulent viruses, which produce less intense clinical signs that can be expressed for much longer periods. Mortality rates are lower, but can still range from 30-70%. Chronic disease symptoms include loss of weight, intermittent fever, respiratory signs, chronic skin ulcers and arthritis.
Different types of pig may have varying susceptibility to ASF virus infection. African wild suids may be infected without showing clinical signs allowing them to act as reservoirs.