Swine flu puts wildlife officials on high alert  

#GS3 #Health #Science  

  • The recovery of 28 pig carcasses from a stretch of the Brahmaputra river flowing through the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) has alarmed wildlife officials in Assam. There have been reports of pig farmers disposing of carcasses in the Brahmaputra and its tributaries after the outbreak of African Swine Fever (AFS) in mid-April.  

African Swine Fever (AFS)  

  • African swine fever virus (ASFV) is a large, double-strandedDNA virusin theAsfarviridaefamily.  
  • It is the causative agent of African swine fever (ASF).   
  • The virus causes ahemorrhagic feverwith high mortality rates in domesticpigs; some isolates can cause death of animals as quickly as a week after infection.   
  • It persistently infects its natural hosts,warthogs,bushpigs, andsoft ticksof the genusOrnithodoros, which likely act as avector, with no disease signs.  
  • It does not cause disease in humans.  
  • ASFV is endemic tosub-Saharan Africaand exists in the wild through a cycle of infection between ticks and wild pigs, bushpigs, and warthogs.   
  • The disease was first described after European settlers brought pigs into areas endemic with ASFV, and as such, is an example of anemerging infectious disease.  
  • ASFV replicates in thecytoplasmof infected cells.  
  • It is the only virus with a double-strandedDNAgenome known to be transmitted byarthropods.  
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