Swine cholera virus traces found in Chinese passenger’s sausage
Okinawa Prefecture officials held an advisory emergency meeting with local pig farmers on Sep. 20th regarding an outbreak of an infectious disease “African swine cholera” in Korea on Sep. 17th.
According to officials, traces of African swine cholera virus were detected in 10 sausages travelers from China had brought to Okinawa. In none of the cases live virus was found and there is no reason to fear an infection here. However, the Okinawa Prefectural Government called for pig farmers to ensure thorough hygiene management in their operations.
African swine cholera is a disease affecting domestic pigs and wild boars, but it does not infect humans. There is no effective treatment or vaccine against the disease and the fatality rate is high. No outbreak has been confirmed in Okinawa, but there have been some cases in the past that live viruses were discovered in sausages travelers brought into the prefecture from overseas.
In all Japan, there have been 70 cases this year testing positive for the African swine fever virus genets, of which 10 cases were confirmed at Naha Airport. The virus was detected in sausages and jerky that were bought in by passengers from China and Vietnam, but in all cases, the virus was not alive.
Animal quarantine officers conduct Inspections of incoming passengers at the airport using detection dogs and oral questions, but they worry that there could be instances that the inspection has failed. They say it might become necessary to inspect passengers and their luggage also on domestic flights.
The Okinawa Prefectural Government is advising measures to prevent the spread of the viruses, such as thorough disinfection of people and vehicles entering and exiting pig farms. Government officials are also urging people to contact the livestock hygiene service center as soon as possible if they suspect something is wrong.