The current outbreak of Classical swine fever (CSF) in Japan is showing few signs of abating as the nation has recently reported additional infected farms. Geographically, this means five prefectures have either domestic and/or wild pigs that test positive for the virus.
Since last September, Japanese officials are frantically trying to step up biosecurity measures to contain and eliminate CSF, which had remained undetected on the island nation since 1992. Animal health officials continue to focus biocontainment tactics with the most recent infection resulting in about 15,000 pigs being euthanized. Although some farmers are requesting a vaccination strategy, officials maintain that doing so would interfere with Japan’s desire to export more of its pork.
Because of the severe economic impact of CSF, outbreaks are notifiable to the World Health Organization (OIE), which withdrew Japan’s free status last fall. CSF has the potential to cause devastating epidemics, particularly in countries free of the disease. While clinically indistinguishable from ASF, it is caused by an unrelated DNA virus. Also known as hog cholera, CSF does not affect humans.