African Swine Fever Detected in Pune: Urgent Vaccination Drive Launched to Contain Outbreak

In a concerning development, Pune has recorded its first cases of African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV), prompting state authorities to initiate an urgent vaccination drive to curb the potential spread of the fatal disease. Two infected pigs have been euthanized as part of containment measures.

Late last month, the state’s animal husbandry department identified the first two cases of ASFV in Pune, a viral infection notorious for its 100 percent mortality rate among pigs. In response, officials swiftly implemented measures, including the euthanasia of animals within a 1-kilometer radius of Pune Camp, where the infected pigs were discovered.

Dr. Devendra Jadhav, state deputy director of disease control in animal husbandry, emphasized the importance of prompt euthanasia, as there is currently no cure for ASFV. Culling operations were conducted to contain the outbreak and protect farms and open areas from further spread.

While ASFV is not known to be zoonotic, posing minimal risk to humans, it is highly contagious among pig populations. Dr. Jadhav highlighted sporadic cases of ASFV in the state since late last year, with Pune being the latest hotspot for the disease.

The cause of the viral infection in Pune remains under investigation, prompting authorities to conduct thorough examinations, including sample collection and tracing the travel history of infected animals’ owners. Pet owners, pig farm operators, and veterinary professionals are urged to report symptoms indicative of ASFV, facilitating prompt intervention.

Recognizing the urgency, the state animal husbandry department has requested over 1.6 lakh doses of ASFV vaccine from the central government to vaccinate pigs statewide. A recent survey revealed a significant increase in the pig population in organized farms, underscoring the need for mass vaccination efforts.

ASFV is a severe hemorrhagic disease with clinical signs such as high-grade fever, bloody diarrhea, darkening of the skin, respiratory symptoms, and weakness. Proactive measures, including vaccination and surveillance, are crucial to prevent further outbreaks and protect pig populations from this deadly disease.

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