A few weeks ago an African swine fever outbreak hit four provinces in China, the world’s leading pork producer, affecting hundreds of pigs and wild boar. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization warned today that the virus might soon cross the border to Southeastern Asia or South and North Korea.
According to the UN’s FAO, the distances between the regions where the diseases occurred are up to 621 miles which could mean that the African swine fever outbreak could cross the Chinese borders to neighboring countries. As FAO’s researchers stated, “the diverse geographical spread of the outbreaks in China have raised fears that the disease will move across borders to neighboring countries of Southeast Asia or the Korean Peninsula where trade and consumption of pork products are also high.”
Luckily, African swine fever outbreak represents no threats to humans, but it could devastate the pig populations in the affected countries, generally speaking.
China, the world’s largest pork producer, hit by an African swine fever outbreak
Chinese diet relies mainly on pork consumption, with 60% of the China populations eating pork-based preparations. On the other hand, China accounts for half of the world’s pigs populations with 500 million specimens. Thus, the African swine fever outbreak in this country could considerably impact the pork production, one of the primary markets in China.
According to the UN’s FAO reports, the virus strain affecting China now is the same as the one that impacted Russia in 2017. Even more, FAO officials warned today that the African swine fever outbreak could cross the Chinese borders and affect other countries in Asia. The Chinese government took the necessary measures to prevent the virus from spreading, but the officials were late in reporting about the outbreak’s progress.
Over the time, African swine fever outbreaks have also been recorded in North and South America and the European Union, especially in Poland, Romania, and the Baltics.