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Novel coronavirus overshadowing African Swine Fever

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COVID-19 dominates news headlines. It overshadows an issue, which remained at the forefront just months ago.

Additional cases of African Swine Fever continue to trickle in. “We have another country to add to the list of positive countries,” shares Dr. Dave Pyburn, senior vice president of science and technology at the National Pork Board (NPB). 

“In the last week, Papua New Guinea reported their first positive case. That moves it ever closer to Australia,” Pyburn said. “They have a fairly significant swine population, and a number of those are outside. We’ve also seen, in the western part of Poland, just positive feral swine/wild swine, not in domestic farms in that area. That’s not true anymore. Here in the last couple of weeks, they found a dometic farm, a 6,000 or 7,000 sow herd, go positive in that western Poland area,” Pyburn said.

Dr. Pyburn remains in touch with a veterinary colleague in China, who reports no change with this outbreak.

“He says nothing has changed; he continues to see outbreaks. He thinks a number of the outbreaks he’s seen for African Swine Fever in China are most likely related to illegal vaccines and illegal vaccine use, and they’re causing the disease,” Pyburn said. 

Dr. Pyburn will offer additional insight Friday in the Pork Checkoff report.

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