Monday, January 21, 2019

Viruses: Aerosol & Contact Transmission Of Japanese Encephalitis Virus In Experimentally Infected Mice

Credit CDC
















#13,800


As our investigative methods become more precise, and more data is acquired and analyzed, we occasionally find that long held scientific beliefs need to be questioned - and sometimes revised.
Over the past two decades, we've looked at many examples in the infectious disease world where new evidence has forced conventional wisdom to change.
A few recent examples include:
  • Prior to 2003 and the outbreak and spread of SARS,  coronaviruses were thought to be relatively mild in humans, and incapable of causing a pandemic.  Since then, between the emergence of MERS-CoV in the Middle East, and the discovery of other virulent coronaviruses in bats, that perception has changed. 
  • Until the West African outbreak 4 years ago, Ebola was thought simply too debilitating, too lethal, and too remote to spread efficiently. Those infected were considered `too sick to travel’, and small outbreaks would inevitably `burn themselves out’ in relatively short order. 
  • Until a couple of years ago, many scientists were still questioning the role of migratory birds in the spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) viruses.  After the 2016/2017 European epizootic and H5N8's spread into the Middle East & Africa, that debate has about ended (see Migratory Birds & The Spread Of Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu).
  • The 2016 Zika epidemic in the Americas taught us that mosquito borne viruses - like Zika - can not only cause birth defects (see NEJM: CDC Concludes Zika Causes Microcephaly & Other Birth Defects, they can be sexually transmitted as well.  Neither of which were considered serious threats before.
  • Despite years of assurances that `Legionellosis does not spread person to person', in 2016 in NEJM: Probable Person-to-Person Transmission Of Legionnaires’ Disease, we saw an epidemiological investigation following the 2014 outbreak in Portugal that strongly suggests that - while very rare - it is possible. 
The point being, our perceptions and understanding of how things work are often forced to change as new evidence is uncovered.  
While it is too soon to re-write the textbooks, we've a new study (published today in the journal Viruses) which presents evidence that the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) - which until now as been viewed as a vector borne virus - can be transmitted via direct contact and aerosols among experimentally infected mice. 
How often this occurs in the real world, or whether it has a tangible impact on outbreaks, remains to be seen. But it is a fascinating finding, and one that reminds us the importance of looking past conventional wisdom for a more complete truth.

I've only included a few excerpts from a much longer, open-access, study. Follow the link to read it in its entirety.
Viruses 2019, 11(1), 87; doi: 10.3390/v11010087
Article

Aerosol and Contact Transmission Following Intranasal Infection of Mice with Japanese Encephalitis Virus 

Chunxia Chai 1,†, Rachel Palinski 2,†, Yixuan Xu 1,†, Qiao Wang 1, Sanjie Cao 1, Yi Geng 3, Qin Zhao 1, Yiping Wen 1, Xiaobo Huang 1, Qiguai Yan 1, Xiaoping Ma 1, Xintian Wen 1, Yong Huang 1, Xinfeng Han 1, Wenjun Ma 2,* and Rui Wu 1,3,*


Received: 25 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019 


Abstract: 


The Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a causative agent of severe viral encephalitis in humans, has a biological cycle fluctuating between transmission in mosquitoes and avian species and amplification in pigs. Contact transmission of JEV was recently shown in pigs in the absence of arthropod vectors. 
Here, we show JEV transmission between infected and contact mice and further demonstrate that JEV transmission occurs between animals via aerosols, as both viral RNA and infectious JEV were detected in direct contact- and aerosol-exposed contact animals. The results of this study change our understanding of JEV transmission in densely populated regions and may help to explain JEV outbreaks without the presence of arthropod vectors.
      (SNIP)

Introduction

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a zoonotic vector-borne viral disease, causing the encephalitis most frequently associated with fatal or severe outcomes in humans [1]. It is currently present in Asia and Australia with 50,000–175,000 cases occurring annually [2,3]. Human cases generally occur in rural areas or at the edges of cities following heavy rains or monsoons [1]. In these cases, less than 1% of patients develop encephalitis; however, 20–30% of encephalitic patients succumb to the disease. Most notably, ~50% of patients surviving encephalitis suffer neurologic or psychologic sequelae [4]. 
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), the causative agent of JE, is a mosquito-borne member of the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae. Culex mosquitoes are the main vector for JEV, while wild water birds represent the reservoirs of the virus [5]. Swine are highly susceptible to JEV infection, although the clinical signs generally remain subclinical, and this species serves as amplifying hosts during human epidemics [5,6,7,8]. Neurotropic disease occurs relatively rarely in the virus’ natural hosts, although abortion has been noted in pregnant sows [1]. In contrast, humans and horses are considered dead-end hosts, as they may develop fatal disease but do not develop a viremia capable of transmitting the virus.
Despite the previously established vector–host cycle of JEV, no virus was isolated from locally collected mosquitoes during or prior to recent epidemics [9,10]. Furthermore, transfusion-related JEV transmission has been reported in patients in Hong Kong [11]. Together, these facts suggest that JEV is capable of vector-free transmission. 
In 2016, the vector-free transmission and viral persistence of JEV was experimentally confirmed in pigs. Pigs were not only susceptible to oronasal infection, but the virus was shown to persist in the tonsils for 25 days despite the detection of high titers of neutralizing antibodies. JEV RNA was detected in oral fluids for up to 14 days following infection in swine, and it seems to be the route of viral exit and entry for pigs [12,13]. The high susceptibility of infection coupled with a low infectious dose suggests vector-free transmission is important to natural infection cycles and prompts the examination of other routes of vector-free transmission [14].
        (SNIP)

4. Discussion

JEV has been thought to transmit solely through mosquito vectors. The Culex species has been implicated as the main contributors to the spread of the disease. The concept that mosquitoes are the sole contributors to JEV outbreaks and disease has been questioned recently because epidemiological and virologic data on outbreaks in non-tropical regions suggests that other factors also play a role in the spread of the disease.
In 2016, Ricklin et al. proved the contact transmission of JEV in experimentally infected pigs; the results of the study suggest contact transmission plays a more important role in viral dissemination in large, dense populations of animals [14]. Utilizing mice in this study is advantageous, as human and mouse JEV infections result in similar physiopathological markers and clinical signs of disease [23,24].
In this study, we not only confirm that contact transmission is possible but also demonstrate that aerosol transmission may occur in the mouse model. The results of these studies add to our understanding of JEV transmission within populations of susceptible species without the presence of mosquito vectors.
(Continue . . . .)



Sunday, January 20, 2019

USDA Confirms Virulent Newcastle Disease In Utah

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#13,799

The first outbreak of Virulent Newcastle Disease (vND) reported in the United States in 15 years - which we began following last May (see APHIS: USDA Confirms Virulent Newcastle Disease In Backyard Flock - California) - appears to have jumped from Southern California to the state of Utah.
While Virulent Newcastle Diseaseposes only a minor threat to human health, it can be devastating to poultry.
Up until mid-December, all of the outbreaks in this recent California epizootic  had affected backyard poultry. Over the past month, however, at least 3 commercial flocks have been also been affected (see last Monday's California: USDA Confirms 3rd Commercial Poultry Flock Hit With Virulent Newcastle Disease).

On Friday the USDA announced the the first detection of the virus in a backyard flock in Utah. One with epidemiological links to the Southern California outbreak.
USDA Confirms Virulent Newcastle Disease in Backyard Exhibition Birds in Utah, Not a Food Safety Concern

Last Modified: Jan 18, 2019
WASHINGTON, January 18, 2019 - The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of virulent Newcastle disease in a small flock of backyard exhibition chickens in Utah County, Utah. This is the first case of virulent Newcastle disease in Utah.
This case is believed to be connected to the current outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease in California, as three of the birds at the premises were recently moved to Utah from Los Angeles County, California. Since May 2018, 299 cases of Newcastle disease have been confirmed in Southern California, primarily in backyard exhibition birds.

Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern. No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products. Properly cooked poultry products are safe to eat. In very rare instances people working directly with sick birds can become infected. Symptoms are usually very mild, and limited to conjunctivitis and/or influenza-like symptoms. Infection is easily prevented by using standard personal protective equipment.

APHIS is working with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to respond to the finding. Federal and State partners are also conducting additional surveillance and testing in the area.

It is essential that all bird owners follow good biosecurity practices to help protect their birds from infectious diseases. These include simple steps like washing hands and scrubbing boots before and after entering a poultry area; cleaning and disinfecting tires and equipment before moving them off the property; and isolating any birds returning from shows for 30 days before placing them with the rest of the flock.

In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to their veterinarian or to State veterinary officials. Additional information on biosecurity for all poultry flocks can be found at www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/defendtheflock.

Additional background

Virulent Newcastle disease is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting the respiratory, nervous and digestive systems of birds and poultry. The disease is so virulent that many birds and poultry die without showing any clinical signs. A death rate of almost 100 percent can occur in unvaccinated poultry flocks. Virulent Newcastle disease can infect and cause death even in vaccinated poultry.

Clinical signs of virulent Newcastle disease include: sudden death and increased death loss in the flock; sneezing; gasping for air; nasal discharge; coughing; greenish, watery diarrhea; decreased activity; tremors; drooping wings; twisting of the head and neck; circling; complete stiffness; and swelling around the eyes and neck. Images of some of these signs are available here.

We also have this announcement from the Utah Department of Agriculture.

Virulent Newcastle Disease Found in Exhibition Poultry in Utah County


(Salt Lake City) – The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) confirms that exhibition poultry (i.e., privately owned/non-commercial chickens), imported from California at the beginning of January and placed with a small domestic flock (250 birds) in Utah County, have tested positive for Virulent Newcastle Disease (VND). This is the first confirmed case of VND in Utah.

UDAF authorities received a report of a possible case of VND in Utah County earlier this week and quarantined the site. Yesterday, the presence of VND in the birds was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Iowa.

The birds were brought to Utah from California, which is currently experiencing an active outbreak of VND. In Utah, the disease is currently contained to one domestic flock and has not been detected in any commercial poultry flocks.

In California, where the suspect birds originated, there have been 299 confirmed cases of VND since May 2018.

VND does not pose a food safety concern. No human cases of VND have ever occurred from eating poultry products.

However, VND is a contagious and fatal viral disease that affects all species of birds, including poultry. Even birds that have been vaccinated are susceptible. Most birds die without showing any clinical signs. Signs in affected birds can include sudden death, sneezing, gasping for air, nasal discharge, coughing, green and watery diarrhea, drooping wings, tremors, circling, and swelling around the eyes and neck.

“The disease is spread when healthy birds come in contact with bodily fluids from infected birds, and contaminated surfaces,” said UDAF State Veterinarian, Dr. Barry Pittman. This disease can be transmitted through manure, egg flats, crates, farming materials or equipment, vehicles, or through people who have handled these materials and their clothing, hands and shoes.

If you own domestic poultry (e.g., chickens, geese or ducks) in Utah County—and you observe any sick or dying birds—call 801-520-4311 immediately so that UDAF officials can follow up. To report sick or dead wild birds, contact the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources office in Springville at 385-368-1128.

Ningxia Becomes China's 25th Province/Territory Reporting ASF - Taiwan Finds More Contaminated Food Products
















#13,798


Even with concerns over whether we are getting a full accounting of all of their African Swine Fever outbreaks (see yesterday's ASF Positive Pig Carcass Found On Matsu Island Beach), China's MOA has announced the 25th Province and/or territory to report an outbreak of the devastating pig disease since early August.

African swine fever epidemic occurred in Yongning County, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region
 
Date: 2019-01-20 12:09 Author: Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Press Office [

The Information Office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs was released on January 20, and an African swine fever epidemic occurred in Yongning County, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

At 2300 on January 19, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs received a report from the China Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center. The Chinese Academy of Animal Health and Epidemiology confirmed that a pig swine outbreak occurred in a farmer in Wangyuan Town, Yongning County, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
Up to now, the farmer has 57 pigs, 26 diseases and 13 deaths.

Immediately after the outbreak, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs sent a steering group to the local area. The local government has started the emergency response mechanism according to the requirements, and adopted measures such as blockade, culling, harmless treatment, disinfection, etc., to treat all the sick and culled pigs harmlessly. At the same time, all pigs and their products are prohibited from being transferred out of the blockade, and pigs are prohibited from being transported into the blockade. At present, the above measures have been implemented.

 
While we've seen only 5 ASF outbreak reports filed by the MOA since the start of the year (down from 15 during the month of December), the number of ASF virus contaminated food products being brought into Taiwan by travelers from the Mainland has actually increased.

Continued monitoring at the border, 2 cases of African swine fever virus genes were detected from pork products in mainland China

The Animal and Plant Epidemic and Quarantine Bureau of the Executive Yuan Agricultural Committee said today (20) that two cases of African swine fever virus genes were detected in pork products in mainland China. 


This is the 13th and 14th case positive cases. The first 12 cases are respectively 107. 1 case on October 31, November 13 and November 30, 2 cases on December 12, December 20, December 21, and January 3, 1 each, January 5 2 cases, 2 cases on January 10th.

The Anti-Inspection Bureau said that the 2 cases were collected from the abandoned boxes on January 13 by the Songshan Airport Quarantine Station of the Keelung Branch of the Bureau. They are all sausages produced in Jiangsu Province of China. The meat has been destroyed after being sampled. The two samples were sent to the Navy on the 17th, and were confirmed by the Animal Husbandry Institute. The sequence of the gene fragment was 100% similar to the genetic fragment of the African swine fever virus strain in mainland China, indicating that the passengers carried pork from mainland China. When products return to China, the risk of spreading African swine fever is extremely high.

The Anti-Inspection Bureau finally said that the case of passengers carrying illegal meat violations was counted on the December 18, 2007, after the increase in the amount of the penalty, and on January 19, 108, the national penalty of 200,000 yuan was 63. 130 yuan for 30,000 yuan and 20 yuan for 10,000 yuan. The statistics are updated daily on the website of the Anti-inspection Bureau's website. The Anti-inspection Bureau once again reminded the public that the annual festival is approaching. Traveling abroad should not bring animal and plant products into the country, especially meat, and do not send foreign meat products to Taiwan for online purchase. Offenders will be severely punished. In addition, we also ask the people to help inform relatives and friends returning from abroad, and do not bring meat and animal products back to the country to avoid punishment.

Similarly, we've seen reports of the interdiction of ASF contaminated food items in Japan, South Korea, and Australia.
While ASF contaminated food products pose no health risk to humans, they can help spread the virus to new regions, where they may make their way into either commercial or wild pigs.
Previously we've seen the  FAO describe how easily ASF can cross borders, and even oceans.
A robust virus with a long life

The ASF virus is very hardy and can survive long periods in very cold and very hot weather, and even in dried or cured pork products. The strain detected in China is similar to one that infected pigs in eastern Russia in 2017 but, so far, and while the investigations continue, the China Animal Health and Epidemiology Center has found no conclusive evidence of this latest outbreak's source or linkages.

"The movement of pig products can spread diseases quickly and, as in this case of African Swine Fever, it's likely that the movement of such products, rather than live pigs, has caused the spread of the virus to other parts of China," explained Juan Lubroth, FAO's Chief Veterinarian.
The Chinese New Year's holiday is now under way - which marks the largest annual human migration on the planet involving as many as 2 billion passenger trips across Asia - and with it come worries over the further spread of the virus from the shipment and/or transport of ASF contaminated food items.

A scenario warned about six months ago by the FAO: African swine fever (ASF) threatens to spread from China to other Asian countries.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Taiwan BAPHIQ: ASF Positive Pig Carcass Found On Matsu Island Beach














  
#13,797
 

A little over two weeks ago, in ASF: When Pigs Float, we looked at reports from Taiwan's BAPHIQ (Bureau of Animal Plant Health Inspection & Quarantine) of a pig carcass recovered on a beach in the Quemoy island group that tested positive for the African Swine Fever virus.  
Although Taiwan sits between 60 and 90 miles off the Chinese mainland, the Republic of China does exercise political control over several groups of (many uninhabited) islands (Kinmen, Wuqiu & Matsu) that lie much closer to the mainland (see map above). 
The dead pig, it was assumed, has drifted from the mainland.  While nearby Fujian province had reported two outbreaks of ASF in December (in Nanping and in Youxi County), both were located more than 100 miles north, and well inland, from where these pig carcasses have appeared.
A second pig carcass was retrieved by Taiwan's Coast Guard, but a positive test was not returned, possibly due to its decomposed condition. 
This nonetheless set off a political row between Taiwan and the Mainland over ASF, and raised concerns that pig farmers were dumping diseased pigs into the rivers or oceans rather than reporting them.

As noted previously in this blog, China's farmers have - on occasion - resorted to the clandestine dumping of diseased livestock into rivers and lakes rather than reporting outbreaks to local officials.
  • In February 2016 several badly decomposed chicken carcasses were found on local beaches of Hong Kong (presumably dumped upstream the Pearl River in Guangdong Province) that tested positive for the avian H5 virus (see Hong Kong: Another H5N6 Positive Chicken Carcass).
  • In previous years (2009-2012) we'd seen numerous similar reports - albeit with the H5N1 virus - of badly decomposed poultry carcasses washing up on the beaches of Hong Kong.
  • But perhaps most famously, in 2013 - in Shanghai Govt.: Thousands Of Dead Pigs Retrieved From River - we saw reports of as many as 3,000 pig carcasses dumped in the Huangpu river - a tributary of the Yangtze - that provides many of the 23 million residents of Shanghai with their drinking water.
Today Taiwan's BAPHIQ is reporting another ASF positive pig carcass has been retrieved - this time from the Matsu islands - an archipelago of 36 tiny islands that lie just offshore of Fujian Province.
China's MOA reported in late December on a large outbreak of ASF in Nanping, Fujian Province, which lies almost a hundred miles inland. Nanping, however, sits along the Minjiang River, which outflows very near the Matsu islands.
The $64 dollar question being whether this pig came from that reported outbreak, or if additional (and as yet, unreported) outbreaks are still occurring the region.


Chinese mainland sea drift Lianjiang pigs, detected African porcine virus DNA positive

The Central Hunger Disaster Response Center (Strain Center) of Africa has said that on January 17, a dead pig that drifted ashore was found on the shore of the Rhino Island (uninhabited island) in Dongjiang County, Lianjiang County. The Industrial Development Department sent a sample of the staff and sent it to the Animal Health Laboratory of the Agricultural Committee (the Animal Husbandry Institute) for testing. 


The nucleic acid of the African swine fever virus was detected positively today, and the gene fragment was 100% similar to the isolate strain from mainland China. There is no pig farm in the area, and the pigs should be drifted from mainland China according to the geographical location.

The Strain Center stated that the Industrial Development Department of Lianjiang County Government received a notice from the Mazu patrol area of ​​the Sea patrol department on Thursday, and found a dead pig on the shore of Rhino Island in Dongguang Island, Shuguang Township. The rushed to the scene to learn about the collection. After the examination, the pigs were burned and buried on the spot, and the samples were sent to the animal husbandry for inspection. The relevant samples were detected by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and the results showed that the African swine fever virus nucleic acid was positive, and the gene fragment sequence was 100% similar to the genetic fragment of the African swine fever virus strain in mainland China. The strain center added that the location of the dead pigs has been completely disinfected by the Industrial Development Department of Lianjiang County Government. There is no pig farm in the whole town.


The Strain Center pointed out that according to the return of the Industrial Development Department of the Lianjiang County Government, there was no abnormal death in the pigs in the county, and the veterinarians continued to pay close attention to the dynamics of the farms within the jurisdiction. In addition, this pig was found around the estuary of the Minjiang River in Fujian Province, China, and the southern part of the city of Nanping had an outbreak of African swine fever. The comprehensive decision was made and should be drifted from mainland China.


In response to this case, the Lianjiang County Government has implemented disinfection measures for the personnel, vehicles, equipment and areas in contact with the pigs. The Agriculture and Municipal Protection Bureau will also follow the cross-strait epidemic prevention notification mechanism to inform the mainland of China to request internal control. The pig industry is working on the body of the pig. The Strain Center said that this operation was carried out through the 11th patrol area, the 10th sea patrol team, the first 0 shore patrol team, the army horse command post and the Lianjiang County Government Fire Bureau, the Environmental Protection Bureau, and the production of the Golden Horse Department. The Development and Prevention Committee of the Agriculture Committee jointly launched an inter-departmental meeting to cooperate and quickly implement various epidemic prevention work.

In addition, when the Director of the Executive Yuan visited the Taoyuan Airport on the 14th, he instructed the border inspection agency to check the hand luggage of the passengers in the high-risk area by 100%. The Strain Center stated that the Aviation Police Department of the Ministry of the Interior has dispatched personnel from the 16th. Taoyuan International Airport conducts flights from high-risk areas (China, Hong Kong, Macao), and passengers step out at the boarding gates of the empty bridges to conduct manual inspections of hand luggage. The Bureau of Inspection and Quarantine also sends quarantine colleagues to assist in the destruction of passengers. Animal and plant products, according to statistics, the amount of animal products destroyed 22.7 kg on the 16th, 8.5 kg on the 17th, 19 kg on the 18th, a total of 50.2 kg destroyed. 


The Strain Center said that the measures taken by the Airport Police Station to check passengers' hand luggage at the downtime station, although delaying the customs clearance time, also achieved the effectiveness of the publicity, and abandoned the illegal quarantine objects early to avoid heavy penalties when passengers passed the Custom Green Line. In order to stop the invasion of African swine fever, we also ask passengers to cooperate more and do our best to prevent epidemics.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Hong Kong Orders Nearly 200 Kindergarten & Child Care Centers Closed Over Flu

HK Flu Express Epi Week 2


#13,796

Yesterday morning, in Hong Kong's Flu Express Wk 2: A Rapid Increase In Institutional Outbreaks, we looked at the recent spike in influenza A outbreaks in Hong Kong's schools, and discussed the possibility of seeing school closures ordered in the days ahead. 

Yesterday Hong Kong's government convened an interdepartmental meeting and after reviewing the situation, issued the following letter:
Alert on Further Increase in Seasonal Influenza Activity in Hong Kong
       (EXCERPT)
So far, a total of 124 adult severe influenza cases (including 50 deaths) have been recorded in this season (as of January 17). Of note, 37% of the adult severe cases affected persons aged 50-64 years, which was higher than 15% in the  2017 summer season predominated by influenza A(H3) and 20% in the 2017/18 winter season predominated by influenza B.
Nonetheless, most of the deaths (86%) still affected elderly aged 65 years or above. For children, ten cases of paediatric influenza-associated severe complication have been recorded in thisseason (as of January 18, 5 pm).

In view of the sharp increase in the number of ILI outbreaks in KG/CCC in the past two weeks and the extraordinary high influenza-associated admission rate among children aged less than 6 years in public hospitals, the Government has convened an interdepartmental meeting yesterday to review the latest situation.


The Government has recommended an enhanced measure that all KG/CCC with an ILI outbreak will be closed for a period of seven days to interrupt influenza transmission within the affected schools. Young children may not have the ability to observe strict personal and hand hygiene and they are prone to influenza infection and its complications.
This additional measure is expected to reduce the risk of acquiring influenza infection in school settings. The Government will review the situation before the end of the Chinese New year holiday to see if this
measure needs to be extended.
       (Continue . . . )


You'll find an English language media report in the South China Morning Post (SCMP) summarizing the decision. 


191 Hong Kong kindergartens and childcare centres told to shut for a week after outbreaks of flu

Centre for Health Protection recommends 20 per cent of such facilities in the city close for seven days
It comes after four flu outbreaks were reported at three kindergartens and a primary school on Thursday
PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 January, 2019, 1:21pm
 

China MOA: 2 More ASF Outbreaks In Gansu Province
















#13,796


Gansu Province, which became the 24th Province and/or territory in China to report African Swine Fever since last August less than a week ago, reports two new outbreaks of the disease near Lanzhou.

Of note, Lanzhou is the capital and largest city in Gansu Province, and is located more than 300km to the west of Gansu's first reported outbreak in Qingcheng County earlier this week.

African swine fever epidemic in Qilihe District, Lanzhou City, Gansu Province

Date: 2019-01-18 17:08 Author: Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Press Office 

The Information Office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs was released on January 18, and an African swine fever epidemic occurred in the Qilihe District of Lanzhou City, Gansu Province.

On January 18, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs received a report from the China Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center. The Chinese Animal Health and Epidemiology Center confirmed that two pig farmers in the Qilihe District of Lanzhou City, Gansu Province had an African swine fever epidemic.
Up to now, the two farmers have a total of 190 live pigs, 143 cases, and 37 deaths.

Immediately after the outbreak, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs sent a steering group to the local area. The local authorities have started the emergency response mechanism as required, and adopted measures such as blockade, culling, harmless treatment, disinfection, etc., to treat all the sick and culled pigs harmlessly. At the same time, all pigs and their products are prohibited from being transferred out of the blockade, and pigs are prohibited from being transported into the blockade. At present, the above measures have been implemented.