Amid the already raging COVID-19 pandemic, Assam has is now also facing another viral flu. The 'African Swine Flu' (ASF) has hit the state and the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, taking the lives of over 13,000 pigs in the region. In an emergency measure to control it from spreading any further, authorities have dug canals in the Agoratoli range to prevent wild boars from going to nearby villages carrying the infection as hosts.
"The Kaziranga National Park authority has dug a two-km long and six-feet deep trench to protect its wild boars (also known as 'wild swine') from the outbreak of the contagious ASF," said Assam Animal Husbandry Minister Atul Bora.
African Swine Flu has claimed the lives of around 13000 pigs in Assam. Kaziranga National Park authorities have dug a canal in Agoratoli range to deter wild boars from going to nearby villages, in order to save them from the disease: Assam Animal Husbandry Minister Atul Bora pic.twitter.com/BFdQq1z2f3— ANI (@ANI) May 11, 2020
Last week the Minister had said that despite a go-ahead from the Centre, the state will not resort to the culling of the pigs immediately and will adopt alternative mechanisms to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease.
According to the officials of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department, the infection spread initially in six districts- Dhemaji, North Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar and Jorhat in February but in the last few weeks, has also been detected in three more districts -- Majuli, Golaghat and Kamrup (Metro).
The African Swine Flu Virus or the ASFV is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and exists in the wild through a cycle of infection between ticks and wild pigs, bushpigs, and warthogs.