April 7, 2020
China faces new ASF cases amid COVID-19 crisis
Amid the global battle of containing the COVID-19 outbreak, cases of African swine fever (ASF) has been reported from Yunyang County of China's Chongqing province.
According to reports, 298 infected piglets were illegally transferred from other provinces of China to Chongqing. Media reports suggest that 64 piglets from the 298 have died due to the ASF. Before COVID-19 gripped China, African swine flu killed over 60% of its pig population between 2018-2019 and it seems that the fever has resurfaced.
Just recently, China had reported two cases of ASF in northwestern Gansu province. According to reports, the virus that was first detected in Kenya in 1909 and spread to Europe and Asia, is harmless to humans, but fatal for pigs. There is no known treatment for the fever yet, but researchers at the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute are at work on a vaccine.
China just last month was able to flatten the curve of its COVID-19 infections. More than 3,300 people have lost their lives in China due to COVID-19, while there are still 1,376 active cases in the country. China faced a lot of criticism from the international community for its poor handling of the outbreak and not providing the world with information related to the disease.
The virus is believed to have originated from a seafood market in China's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally.