Africa Swine Flu discovered in Nigeria

June 10, 2009

 

   

The Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed the report that African Swine Flu has been discovered in a certain part of Delta state.

The Ministry, in a report by the special assistant on communication to the minister of health,Niyi Ojuolape, said the presence of the disease has been confirmed after consultation with the Delta State Ministries of Health and Agriculture.

The ministry, however, said that African Swine Fever (ASF) affects only pigs and that it does not affect humans in any way. It stated also that it is not in any way related to the a(h1n1) influenza, otherwise known as swine fever, which has been ravaging the health world.

Mr Ojuolape,however, assured the public that the case of Swine Flu has not been reported in Nigeria and that the government is doing a lot to monitor the events with a view to handling any eventuality effectively.

Also, the Delta State Ministry of Agriculture has quarantined the affected piggery and has started culling the affected pigs to prevent the disease from spreading to other pigs.

African Swine Fever (ASF) is however, a highly contagious, generalized disease of pigs caused by an iridovirus that exhibits varying virulence between strains, although different serotypes cannot be identified.

Experts say that the virus resists inactivation and can persist in meat up to 15 weeks, processed hams up to six months and up to one month in contaminated pens. It is endemic in most of Southern Africa, and on the Iberian peninsula of Europe. Since the 1960s, outbreaks have occurred in France, Italy, Malta, Belgium,Holland, Cuba, Domican Republic and Haiti.

Treatment and vaccine have not been discovered till date. The United States,the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibit the importation of live hogs and uncooked pork from any country where ASF exists, except if the products are commercially canned,hermetically sealed, and fully sterilized so it remains shelf stable without refrigeration; and the processes used have been proven to inactivate the virus.

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