Pigs succumb to mysterious virus, pork banned across Assam

New pig virus creates panic across at least six districts

AssamImage Courtesy:arunachal24.in

Even as humans are struggling to cope with the coronavirus, pigs in Assam are falling prey to an as yet unidentified virus. Sentinel Assam reports that as per the government’s official figures, 1,964 pigs have been killed by the virus so far. Deaths have been reported from Sivasagar, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Biswanath districts. 

On Saturday, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had held meetings with top officials and scientists of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department and directed them to conduct an inquiry. Not much is known about the virus, but Assam Animal Husbandry, Veterinary & Agriculture Minister Atul Bora said that samples have been sent to National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal for further testing. In the meantime, the state administration has banned the sale of pork across Assam. However, Bora clarified that the new virus could not be transmitted from pigs to humans.

According to Guwahati Plus, on April 21, the North East Progressive Pig Farmers’ Association (NEPPFA), had organized a press meet to clarify the misconceptions about the difference between Swine flu (H1N1) and Classical Swine Fever. While the H1N1 flu is a viral disease that attacks humans as well, the Classical Swine Fever, although viral, does not attack humans. Manoj Kumar Basumatary, President of NEPPFA, told the publication, “The viral fever that has killed many pigs in various districts of the state is believed to be the classical swine fever.”    



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