Long incubation period makes ASF especially difficult

The Minnesota state veterinarian says a long incubation period is a major reason why African swine fever is so difficult to contain.

Dr. Beth Thompson compares ASF to high-path avian flu, which crippled Minnesota’s turkey industry in 2015.

“That disease, once it landed in a barn of turkeys in Minnesota, birds started dying. The problem we have with African swine fever is number one: there’s an incubation period. And number two: it also looks like some of the other endemic diseases that we have. What rises to the top of course is PRRS.”

Speaking to Brownfield at Minnesota Pork Congress Tuesday, she says producers have to plan for ASF eventually entering the United States.

“What is their disease response plan? Also very important for producers is communication, both with their staff out to the people in the barns, but also up to their veterinarian.”

Thompson says that list should also include state animal health officials.

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