What is African swine fever, the disease that is already in the Caribbean and is approaching Mexico

Although African swine fever is not transmitted from pigs to humans, its entry into the country could affect pig farmers.

The Mexican health authorities launched the alert to all pork producers in the country. Coming from Africa, the virus has already reached the Caribbean. With the same speed it could enter national territory, and attack producing farms with force. In charge of the National Service of Agrifood Health, Safety and Quality (Senasica), a meticulous investigation is being carried out on the consequences of African swine fever.

A ‘highly’ resistant virus, but not infectious to humans

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An official statement from Senasica alerts Mexican pig farmers about the possible spread of African swine fever, an aggressive virus that attacks domestic and wild pigs alike. According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OiE), this transboundary infection is transmitted in live or dead animals, as well as in contaminated food with which they are fed.

Senasica Strongly Advises Mexican Pork Producers raise your health security measures. In the same way, it encourages them to report any suspicious case under their control —even in their family production units—, since the infection is very contagious among pigs.

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An animal epidemiological alert

African swine feverPhoto: .

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is reinforcing the first sanitary barrier. For this, according to the state statement, the ports, airports and borders of entry to the country are under rigorous animal health surveillance. Currently, the emphasis is on pork products and by-products.

At the same time, veterinarians and technicians from the productive sector are being trained to know how to deal with the disease, should it enter the country. To do this, they are being supported by the network of 21 laboratories throughout Mexico that carry out genomic sequencing of harmful agents.

Some of the symptoms of pigs that get swine fever are:

Vomiting and diarrhea with blood and mucosa Powerful nasal discharge Fever and weakness Lack of appetite Difficulty breathing And above all: purple or bruised discoloration of the skin, especially on the ears or abdomen

If any of the symptoms are present, the pig manager must immediately report them to Senasica. Communication channels are open by phone and email, according to the official portal of the institution (and can be consulted here). At the moment, the virus has not entered Mexico. However, experts fear it is a matter of time.

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