Japan Warns ‘Extremely Serious’ Swine Fever Epidemic

swine fever epidemic japan

Japan is in the midst of what the country’s health officials are calling an “extremely serious situation.” A swine fever epidemic is sweeping across the country at an impressive and dangerous rate. Several prefectures located in the central and western portions of the country are failing to contain the highly contagious illness.

Japan’s Farm Minister told members of the local media that “thorough countermeasures” must be taken in order to prevent catastrophic fallout. The Farm Ministry believes that the illness is spreading from farms located in Gifu Prefecture. Gifu’s nearness to Osaka and Shiga are assisting in spreading the hog cholera virus.

japan swine fever epidemic
Japanese hazmat workers intercept pig deliveries at Nagano Prefecture farm

“We must prevent the spread of the virus through tighter cooperation between the government and relevant local authorities,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, according to JapanInsides.

“We also ask relevant parties to start an information campaign so that consumers will not be worried,” said Suga.

As it stands, local farms have culled 15,000 pigs.

Swine Fever Epidemic Is Difficult To Stop

Many local pig farmers do not understand how the swine fever spreads, which adds to a complicated mounting dilemma. Hazmat workers are tasked with the mass pig culling, creating scenes of fear. Even wild boars are testing positive for swine fever. Wild boars do not travel in large herds, which helps keep swine fever at bay in the wild.

Japan Refusing Swine Fever Vaccine

The country is rejecting the use of a swine fever vaccine. Japan fears that using the vaccine could result in losing its World Organization for Animal Health status as a CSF free country.

“We will seek to resolve this by sticking to hygiene control standards.” Yasuhiro Ozato, a senior vice farm minister, stated.

Japan declared hog cholera eradicated in 2007. Unfortunately, the illness is back and creating a strain on a country looking to expand its pork production internationally.  Learn more about pandemics, epidemics, and outbreaks.

Author: Jim Satney

PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.

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