Infectious Form of African Swine Fever Virus Detected for First Time in Japan

Tokyo, The African swine fever virus has been

detected in a contagious state on Japanese soil for the first time, the

Japanese government said.

The Japanese government has in the past detected genes of the

African swine fever virus in food brought from overseas, but never

before has the virus been confirmed as being at an infectious stage.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said the

discovery of an infectious form of the virus has prompted a decision to

strengthen measures against illegal imports of livestock products.

The virus was discovered in sausages brought into the country

from China in January, the farm ministry said.

The virus only affects domesticated and wild pigs and boars, not

humans, but there is no vaccine or effective treatment for the highly

lethal virus, the ministry said.

So far no African swine fever infections have been reported in

Japan and it is unlikely that food infected with the virus would cause an

outbreak unless pigs were fed with the infected food.

African swine fever is more lethal than conventional swine fever,

also known as hog cholera, with a number of outbreaks having been

reported in parts of Japan since September � the first time the virus

had been detected in the country for 26 years.

An outbreak of African swine fever was reported in China last

year and has since spread to Vietnam and Mongolia. As of February,

dozens of countries in Africa and Europe have also reported outbreaks,

the Japan Times news reported.

Source: Oman News Agency