Indonesia is the latest country to fall prey to African swine fever or African Swine Flu (ASF). The disease caused by a virus and there are no data to show that African swine fever can be transmitted to humans. However, it is highly contagious and dangerous for pigs because it can cause death and cause large economic losses.
At the end of 2019, there was an outbreak of the death of more than 10,000 pigs caused by African swine fever in North Sumatra Province. The government officially announced the news through Minister of Agriculture Decree Number 820 / KPTS / PK.320 / M / 12/2019 about the declaration of African swine fever outbreaks in several districts/cities in North Sumatra Province.
World Animal Health Organization also received a report on the incidence of African swine fever from the Indonesian government on 17 December 2019. Based on the report, the government stated that 392 outbreaks of swine fever had occurred which killed 28,136 pigs in 16 districts/cities in North Sumatra since 4 September 2019.
Several symptoms that can be seen from pigs infected with African swine fever include high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, the appearance of bleeding spots (erythema) on the skin or ears of pigs, loss of appetite to death.
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent or drugs or cure this disease. The Roslin Institute and several other researchers throughout the world are designing genes that can be used as vaccines for African swine fever virus so pigs can be immune to this disease.
The government is working in stopping African swine fever with rapid detection and proper handling. Furthermore, control effort is also carried out through isolation in related areas.
It is important for us in helping the government to prevent the spread/eradication of African swine fever virus in order to prevent transmission to humans, healthy pigs, and the environment. Everyone can help by knowing the characteristics as mentioned above and immediately report to local. (*)
Author: Astria Novitasari Nidom