African Swine Flu

They’re calling the latest industrial-meat disease that could jump the gap to humans African Swine Flu, but it’s looking like an especially big problem in China.

No reason to cut down on industrial-meat consumption though, right? Gotta have that (damaging in so many ways) pig flesh!

While African swine fever can live on for weeks or months in uncooked and frozen pork, it is not harmful to humans, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

But that could change. Russia’s chief epidemiologist believes the virus could potentially mutate further, given the similarity between pig and human physiology.

Meanwhile, the UK’s National Health Service website states that: “Many global outbreaks of infectious illnesses (pandemics) that have occurred in recent history are thought to have been caused by viruses previously only found in animals. After mutating, the viruses became capable of infecting humans.”


It’s a problem in Europe, too. ASF has been spreading through Russia and eastern Europe, doing a ton of damage to pig farming. We haven’t had any cases in Finland yet, but with the (invasive) wild boars spreading and growing in numbers, it’s all but a matter of time. And when that happens, it will likely kill off pig farming in Finland, which is already doing very badly due to low market prices, higher costs, and having to compete with Danish, German and Polish cheap pork.

It’s not an “industrial meat disease”, though. In many ways, pigs raised in traditional ways, outdoors and fed with stuff like acorns and beech nuts and so on, are even more vulnerable to it than pigs farmed indoors.


Thanks for the clarification. I’d call it that if it does jump the gap to humans, due to industrial production conditions. And surely those do exacerbate it already among manufactured pigs.


Yeah, that would be different. :slight_smile:

And naturally, if industrially farmed pigs do catch ASF, it will spread like a wildfire due to the amount of pigs in close contact. (That’s why pig producers take this very, very seriously.)


It’s Ok, the Chinese own Smithfield Ham so, they have plenty of back up pigs.

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