According to a new report illegal vaccines are causing Swine Flu in China.
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A new form of African swine fever identified in Chinese pig farms is most likely caused by illicit vaccines, industry insiders say.
Two new strains of African swine fever have infected more than 1,000 sows on several farms owned by New Hope Liuhe, China’s fourth-largest producer, as well as pigs being fattened for the firm by contract farmers, said Yan Zhichun, the company’s chief science officer.
Though the strains, which are missing one or two key genes present in the wild African swine fever virus, don’t kill pigs like the disease that ravaged China’s farms in 2018 and 2019, they cause a chronic condition that reduces the number of healthy piglets born, Yan told Reuters.
At New Hope, and many large producers, infected pigs are culled to prevent the spread, making the disease effectively fatal.
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“I don’t know where they come from, but we find some mild field infections caused by some sort of gene-deleted viruses,” Yan said.
Wayne Johnson, a Beijing-based veterinarian, said he diagnosed a chronic, or less-lethal, form of the disease in pigs last year. The virus lacked certain genetic components, known as the MGF360 genes. New Hope has found strains of the virus missing both the MGF360 genes and the CD2v genes, Yan said.
The new strains could proliferate globally through contaminated meat, infecting pigs that are fed on kitchen waste. The virus is known to survive for months in some pork products.
For latest updates on the outbreak check out our Coronavirus Coverage.