MU prepared in case of ASF outbreak

The University of Missouri’s Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab is helping monitor for African Swine Fever.

Lab Director Shuping Zhang tells Brownfield if Missouri pork producers see potential signs of ASF like fever, lethargic behavior or unexpected death, they should report it to the state…

“Federal and state veterinarians, we call them regulatory veterinarians, they will go to the premise and collect samples and send them to the lab, and the lab will begin testing the samples immediately,” Zhang said. “Within a few hours we will have the results available.”

She says USDA would be notified in the case of a positive test and have a response in a matter of hours from the first notice of symptoms.

“That means that we can contain the disease or the infection at the spot and then try to eradicate it,” she said.

Zhang said testing labs, industry professionals and USDA have been in weekly meetings to improve readiness for the disease.

“It’s not whether it will come or not, it’s when it will come to the U.S.,” Zhang said. “So, we need to be prepared.”

MU’s lab can test 1,500 samples for ASF daily and can test more in the event of an outbreak

The lab is one of 60 members of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and the only Level 1 lab in Missouri making it the state’s top animal diagnostics lab.

African Swine Fever only infects pigs and is not harmful to people.

Shuping Zhang Interview

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