Poland has detected outbreaks of African swine fever in five wild boars in the north of the country, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) said on Monday.
African swine fever (ASF) is a viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs. The disease is caused by a virus (ASFV) that is highly contagious and can be spread by direct contact with infected animals, ingestion of contaminated food or water, and even by ticks.
Pigs infected with ASF may experience various symptoms, including fever, loss of appetite, weakness, difficulty breathing, and hemorrhaging. The virus can survive for long periods in pork products, feed, and in the environment.
Besides Poland, African swine fever has been spreading in Europe, with outbreaks found in Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Italy, Moldova, North Macedonia and Romania, WOAH said.
To prevent the spread of ASF, authorities kill affected pigs and other pigs in the herd that may have been exposed to the virus. Since January 2021, ASF has been detected in 41 countries, and more than 828,000 healthy and sick farm pigs and 23,000 wild boars have been killed, WOAH said.