African Swine Fever Continues to Spread Globally, Prompting Urgent Calls for Vigilance and Biosecurity Measures


Protect your pigs from African swine fever! A U.S. outbreak could cost up to $75 billion. Image from Twitter/@feedstuffs

In the latest update on the African swine fever (ASF) situation, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) has provided insights into the spread of the disease and its impact between July 21 and August 10, 2023. This report, based on information submitted through the World Animal Health Information System, reveals critical data on the ASF outbreaks, their geographic distribution, and ongoing efforts to manage the disease.

During the reporting period, from July 21 to August 10, 2023, the following significant developments were observed:

Figure 1: Map of ASF outbreaks which started during 21 July 2023 – 10 August 2023 in domestic animals and wildlife. Zoomed views of areas where updates occurred in the last period are provided as well.

New Outbreaks and Recurrences:
In the reporting period, no new ASF events were reported in the African, Americas, Asian, or Oceania regions. In Europe, Moldova reported two separate occurrences of ASF, both starting on July 30. Ukraine also reported two new cases of ASF through Immediate Notifications, with one event starting on July 21 and the other on August 7.

Ongoing Outbreaks:
There were no updates on ongoing ASF events in the Americas, Asia, or Oceania regions. South Africa was the only country in Africa to update its ongoing ASF event. In Europe, a significant number of countries updated their ongoing ASF events, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine.

Impact of ASF Outbreaks:
The cumulative impact of ASF outbreaks during the reporting period is detailed in Table 1. This table provides information on the number of outbreaks, cases, and losses caused by ASF in various world regions, both in domestic pigs and wild boars.
ASF Spread Since 2021:
As of August 10, 2023, ASF has been reported in 50 countries globally since 2021.Over this period, ASF has affected more than 953,000 pigs and more than 28,600 wild boars, resulting in more than 1,508,000 animal losses. This data highlights the wide-reaching impact of ASF and emphasizes the critical need for robust prevention and control measures.
Key Messages and Recommendations:
The report underscores the global threat of ASF, with continuous spread to new countries and zones within affected countries. Biosecurity measures, early reporting systems, and maintaining disease awareness are vital to mitigating the disease’s impact. The WOAH encourages the use of high-quality vaccines with demonstrated effectiveness and safety, in line with international standards. Vigilance, science-based guidelines, and transparent reporting are crucial components of national disease prevention and control programs.
Losses (deaths + animals killed and disposed of): this figure refers to losses in the establishments affected by the outbreaks and it does not include the animals culled in areas around the outbreak for controlling the disease.

The ASF Situation Report 39 brings to light the ongoing challenges posed by African swine fever, showcasing the importance of a coordinated global response and vigilance in monitoring and managing the disease.


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