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Jakarta Post

Swine fever may affect millions of people in Indonesia

Swine fever may affect millions of people in Indonesia The African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs with almost 100 percent case fatality but harmless to humans and other animals. There are a number of reasons why these diseases should be a major concern for the Indonesian government and people. (Bloomberg/File)
Erik Meijaard and Matthew S. Luskin (The Jakarta Post)
Bandar Seri Begawan/Singapore   ●   Thu, December 19, 2019

The African swine fever (ASF) epidemic in Asia is becoming an increasingly large problem. Starting in northern China in August 2018 it has rapidly moved south to Vietnam and onto Luzon Island in the Philippines and reached Timor Leste last October. It has resulted in the death of 350 million domestic pigs, driving up meat prices and causing significant economic problems.

Since late October, a fatal disease has also been killing a large number of domestic pigs in northern Sumatra. The government authorities together with the Food and Agricultural Organization recently confirmed that the disease is caused by ASF.

Pig deaths in northern Sumatra rapidly increased from an initial estimate of 50 animals in late October to 27,000 dead animals in mid-December. This looks like exponential growth. The finding of a dead wild pig in Aceh on Dec. 8 indicates that the disease ha...

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.