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African swine fever: only 20 kilometers from the German border


Further spread of African swine fever: soon in Germany too?

A few days ago, further cases of African swine fever (ASP) were officially confirmed in western Poland. Some of these cases were only around 20 kilometers from the German border. The disease has been getting closer over the past few months.

On 30 and 31 December 2019, Poland officially confirmed eight cases of African swine fever (ASP) in wild boar in western Poland, according to a message from the Consumer Service Bavaria. Two of these eight cases are only 32 kilometers from the Brandenburg border and 21 kilometers from the Saxony border. The Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection has pointed this out.

Recent evidence is viewed with great concern

African swine fever (ASP) is a viral infection that is native to Africa, but has also occurred in various EU countries since 2014. This is how the pathogen was found in Belgium in 2018. Other locations were among others in Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic.

No disease has yet been reported in Germany, but in recent months the ASP has moved closer and closer to the German border.

"We are very concerned about the latest evidence of African swine fever, relatively close to the border with Germany," said the Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Uwe Feiler, in a statement.

“Until now, the joint efforts of the federal and state governments have prevented the virus from being brought into Germany. We cannot let up here, ”warns Feiler.

Do not bring any meat or sausage bread from Eastern Europe

As the Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection explains on its website, the ASP is transmitted and disseminated either directly from animal to animal, especially blood is very contagious, or indirectly, for example, through contaminated objects. Food waste from non-cooked pork products (e.g. salami, ham) is a potential source of infection.

According to the experts, the ASP virus is extremely resistant. Not only fresh, but also frozen, cured and smoked meat and sausages can be infectious for domestic and wild boar for a long time.

The greatest danger, however, comes from improper disposal of food waste.
Travelers should therefore ensure that food waste is only disposed of in tightly closed garbage containers.

"If you want to do preventive animal welfare, you shouldn't bring any meat or sausage bread from Eastern Europe, or throw it away on the way," says Gisela Horlemann, ecotrophologist at Consumer Service Bavaria at KDFB e.V. (VSB).

No danger to humans

“Swine fever is not a threat to humans, but the animals can become infected, get a high fever and die or have to be killed. "Culled" as it is officially called, "explains Horlemann. Domestic and wild boar are particularly affected.

But even if the pathogen poses no danger to humans, domestic and wild boar meat, like any other raw meat, should always be prepared hygienically, since it can also contain other pathogens.

According to experts, it should be kept refrigerated and prepared separately from other foods before cooking. When heated, a temperature of 70 degrees or higher should be reached inside the piece of meat for at least two minutes. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.



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