While outbreaks of measles and Ebola are dominating the news, African swine fever (ASF) "has wiped out pork productions across China, Mongolia, Vietnam, and most recently, Cambodia, without signs of stopping," according to Popular Science. ASF has already claimed more than 1 million pigs in China alone. Though the illness can't be contracted by humans (as can swine flu), it's highly contagious and threatens the food supply in countries that are dependent on pork. Andres Perez, director of the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS), notes, “Rather than spreading rapidly and then burning out . . . . the virus adapted to different environments. Because of that adaptation, it’s behaving differently than expected." CAHFS, a Consortium member, has developed a multimedia toolkit called ASFWatch, which focuses on educating producers about ASF, how it’s spread, and what they can do to prevent it from entering the US.
Thursday, May 9, 2019