What is African Swine Fever?

Posted: August 14, 2019

What is African swine fever (ASF)?

  • Highly contagious virus in pigs (wild and domestic)
  • Does NOT affect public health or food safety – meat is safe for people to eat.
  • Causes fever, skin discoloration, diarrhea, and death.
  • Other signs may include piling, tiredness, and going off feed.
  • Sudden deaths or abortions may be the first sign of infection in a herd.
  • Animals may be infected 3-21 days before showing signs.
  • Highly contagious – virus is shed in saliva, breath, milk, semen, urine and manure.
  • Can be spread directly between animals OR spread indirectly on clothing, footwear, vehicles, equipment, and wildlife.
  • Also spread by ticks, mosquitoes, and biting flies.

Where is it?

  • African swine fever is found in Africa and countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
  • NOT in United States, Canada, Mexica, or Central America

How will African swine fever affect  pork producers if it enters the U.S.?

  • Movements on and off farms in regulatory Control Areas could be stopped by state and federal officials to try and stop disease spread.
  • Export markets close and prices drop.
  • When one animal on the farm becomes infected, the whole herd is likely to become sick.

How can the Secure Pork Supply (SPS) Plan help protect
your herd?

  • It recommends biosecurity that pork producers can put in place to help protect their pigs.
  • It includes steps producers can take to show that their pigs can be moved without spreading disease.
  • It provides an opportunity for pork producers to keep their business running if their pigs remain uninfected.

Download the PDF here.

Photo credit: The USDA APHIS Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and the Department of Homeland Security Visual Information Service at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and Dr. Alex Ramirex, Iowa State University.