African swine fever (ASF), a highly contagious hemorrhagic disease of pigs, has been detected in Mwense, about 100 km from Mansa, the provincial capital of Luapula Province.
This outbreak comes a year after Zambia’s last recorded cases of the livestock disease in North Western Province.
According to the National Agricultural Information Services (NAIS), several fatalities have been recorded in Mwense, where the Department of Veterinary Services diagnosed and culled several pigs to contain the disease.
NAIS reported provincial veterinary officers had quarantined the affected area and embarked on senstising farmers on ASF.
Pigs affected by ASF present a wide range of clinical signs such as fever, skin lesions and convulsions similar to classical swine fever (hog cholera).
In Zambia, ASF was first reported in 1912 in Eastern Province and is currently believed to be endemic in that province only. Strict quarantine measures implemented at the Luangwa River Bridge, the only surface outlet from Eastern Province, appeared to be successful in restricting the disease.
However, in 1989, an outbreak occurred for the first time outside the endemic province. Sporadic outbreaks have since occurred almost throughout the country.