African swine fever spreads close to Estonian border

Take note – story published 9 years ago

In a potentially serious development in Latvia's battle against the spread of African swine fever, lab tests have confirmed four cases of the disease among a herd of domestic pigs in northern Latvia.

An infected wild wild boar carcass was also discovered in Ergeme parish near the northern border town of Valka, reported the Food and Veterinary Service late Friday.

The pen in question contains a herd of altogether 55 domestic swine. These are the first confirmed cases outside of either the monitoring or quarantine zones established in Latvia’s southeastern Latgale province to prevent the disease from becoming endemic.

Valka is located in Vidzeme province’s far north, adjacent to its border crossing with Estonia’s twin city Valga and will ring alarm bells in Estonia.  

More cases were confirmed Thursday by lab testing on pigs from Indra parish in Kraslava district and Asune parish in Dagda district, as well as a wild boar found in Andrupene parish near Dagda, not far from the original outbreak of the infection.

So far African swine fever has been confirmed in 25 wild boar and 16 domestic pigs being raised in farming homesteads.

The disease is deadly to pigs and while harmless to humans, it rides easily on clothing and footwear, and can thus be spread inadvertently unless people observe strict prohibitions on the transport and trade in pigs and pork products and take great care not to allow the risk of exposure by regularly rinsing and disinfecting their outerwear.

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