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Specialists fear outbreak of deadly plague among Armenian swine

30 August 2007

ARMENIA - In the last 10 days nearly 800 pigs have been destroyed in the provinces of Lori and Tavush of Armenia in suspicion that the swine could be infected of African plague (African Swine Fever).

The plague, though not transferable to humans, has deadly consequences for swine. It is not believed to be transferable to other livestock. Symptoms of the plague include bruises on the animal’s body, fever and hemorrhage. No cure nor vaccination is known. The suspected outbreak marks the first time the African plague has appeared in Armenia.

“About 400 pigs have been killed in the town of Dilijan, some 300 in Barekamavan and some 40 in Haghartsin in Tavush province,” Gevorg Tovmasyan deputy head of state agency for veterinary and food security at the Ministry of Agriculture of Armenia told Armenianow.

He added that in the villages of Vahagnadzor, Vahagni, Dsegh and Pambak of Lori, where the disease was first registered, some 50 pigs had died and were later destroyed.

Tovmasyan said that although an outbreak of the plague is not yet confirmed, the symptoms exist to confirm it and that preventative measures are warranted. Samples of infected animals have been sent to Russia and Great Britain to undergo laboratory examinations there for final diagnosis.

“We sent the samples to Russia on August 27th and expect results today. We have sent them to Great Britain yesterday, so the soonest we expect results is a week,” Tovmasyan said.

The deputy head of the state agency for veterinary and food security mentioned Russian specialists with previous experience in fighting against the disease in Abkhazia have arrived in Armenia five days ago and help the agency’s specialists to exterminate the infection and prevent its spreading. Suspected animals are euthanized and buried in pits at least two meters deep.

“Although the African plague is spread at contact and is transferred only by animal contacts or by ticks, we have organized a dayround duty and disinfections to prevent its spreading,” Tovmasyan added.

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Source: Armernia Now

Further Reading

       - Find out more information on African Swine Fever/Plague by clicking here.
       - Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.


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