Sunday, July 14, 2024

African Swine Flu In Kerala Pigs Won’t Spread To Humans, Says Centre – N.F Times

New Delhi: African swine flu, currently spreading across a few pig farms in Kerala, is non-zoonotic and will not spread to humans, said the Centre.

Authorities have culled 310 pigs at farms in Thrissur district, where the disease was initially detected. Furthermore, the government mentioned the unavailability of a vaccine for this variant of swine flu.

The swine flu was first reported in India in May 2020 in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and has since spread to approximately 24 states. In 2020, the Union Animal Husbandry Department formulated a national action plan for controlling swine flu.

Regarding the current outbreak, the state’s animal husbandry department has formed a rapid response team. The culling of pigs within a 1 km radius of the epicentre was carried out on July 5th. Presently, about 36 farms in Thrissur district—spread across nine panchayats and one municipal corporation—are under surveillance, housing around 4,010 pigs. Officers have been instructed to meticulously monitor the animals.

The culling of the pigs followed the standard protocol, and they were disposed of through deep burial, followed by primary disinfection and sanitation.

On zoonotic diseases, the statement also mentioned that zoonoses are infectious diseases that can spread between animals and humans, such as rabies, anthrax, influenza (H1N1 and H5N1), Nipah, COVID-19, and tuberculosis. These diseases are caused by various pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. However, not all animal diseases are zoonotic. Many diseases affect livestock without posing a risk to human health. These non-zoonotic diseases are species-specific and cannot infect humans. For example, foot and mouth disease, lumpy skin disease, classical swine fever, and Ranikhet disease are non-zoonotic diseases that don’t spread to humans.

The official statement emphasized that understanding which diseases are zoonotic is crucial for implementing effective public health strategies and preventing unnecessary fear and stigmatization of animals.

According to the statement, India has the largest livestock population, with 536 million livestock and 851 million poultry, accounting for around 11% and 18% of the global livestock and poultry population, respectively. Additionally, India is the largest producer of milk and the second-largest producer of eggs globally.

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