The Swine Health Information Center is encouraging pork producers to question every death and to have each one investigated to make sure it wasn’t caused by African Swine Fever.
If that disease ever shows up in Canada, it would have devastating consequences for exports and for any herds that get infected.
It is a deadly disease that took out about half of the pigs in China which had more pigs than any nation in the world.
The Swine Health Information Center is warning that African Swine Fever variants have shown up in China and that some vaccines used there have resulted in chronic infection and vaccine virus shedding.
Dr. Dan Rock at the University of Illinois conducted a review for the Swine Health Information Centre which resulted in its advice for pork producers.
Rock said the variants may make it more difficult to detect the disease.
Dr. Paul Sundberg, director of the centre, said the level of risk the variants pose to North America’s pork industry is difficult to quantify, but they are reason for increased vigilance.
Our biggest opportunity to prevent a problem is to do everything we can to question the health status of our herds when something looks out of line, he said.
These different variants and the original virus can look very much like salmonellosis, he said, or like hot PRRS or other things that we deal with as endemic disease in North America, he said.
Even if it's one mortality and you think that looks just like it was before, question that and get a professional diagnosis, he advised.