It is not widely known that pig fever can infect humans and even cause death. Countries around the world till now were battling recurrent outbreaks of bird flu. In fact this disease seems to have become endemic in some nations. Till now this disease has proved to be the most troublesome to control after the mad cow disease.
Of late cattle in the UK have been affected by the foot and mouth disease.
The latest outbreak is of swine fever in Romania. This fever affects only pigs and wild hogs. It is incurable and the infected animals have to be slaughtered and their carcasses buried or burnt.Eradicating it has so far proved very tough but vaccination against the disease is possible and offers a certain degree of protection. This is not the first time that the disease has surfaced in Romania. It has occurred earlier as well and in fact Romania is banned from exporting pork to the EU.
The disease spreads via natural secretions from imported animals and is highly contagious.
This disease is known to infect humans as well. People who eat infected meat can catch the disease. In fact even inhaling the air near the sick swine is dangerous and could cause infection.
The rate of fatality in humans infected by the disease is disturbingly high.
Popularly known as the African Swine Fever epidemics have devastated pig herds in Benin, Nigeria, Togo and other African countries.In Africa it is usually controlled by major surveillance operations, strict border controls to check movement and a compensation scheme for the owners of the slaughtered animals.
In Europe outbreaks have occurred in Italy and Portugal as well, in the past.
What comes to haunt experts whenever such an outbreak occurs is that someday one virus will mutate into a form easily transmitted to humans and sweep across the world with catastrophic results. The warning bells are ringing loudly. It is time all the nations put their heads and resources together to fight these imminent dangers rather than wasting time elsewhere.