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Risk of ASF Introduction Through U.S. Airports Increases
Dr. Paul Sundberg - Swine Health Information Center

Farmscape for April 10, 2019

A University of Minnesota analysis has shown the risk of ASF entering the United States by way of illegally imported meat through U.S. airports has increased by 183 percent since the spread of disease into China, East Asia, and Western Europe.
A Swine Health Information Center and the National Pork Board funded analysis conducted by the University of Minnesota examined the risk for introduction of African Swine Fever into the U.S. through pork smuggled in air passenger luggage.
Dr. Paul Sundberg, the Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center, says the risk of introduction through U.S. airports has increased substantially.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
There's essentially a 100 percent chance that there is contaminated meat being introduced into the airport at the U.S.
We now that's going on in Japan and South Korea, in Australia and in Taiwan.
All of those countries have looked for virus in products they have confiscated at the airports and they've found that those products might be positive.
While the U.S. doesn't test products that are confiscated at the airports, the USDA assumes that all of those confiscations are positive.
We wanted to understand better the risk for those products being introduced into the airport and the risk for them to get through the airport.
That doesn't mean, however, that it would infect pigs.
There are multiple steps that this virus would have to get through.
First of all it would have to be on the airplane, secondly it would have to get through the airport, thirdly it would have to get to a spot where it's likely to be in contact with pigs and then the pigs would have to eat it and get infected, so there are multiple steps and what we wanted to understand was the level of risk for those different steps happening.

Based on traffic from ASF infected regions the highest risk airports are those in New York, Newark, Houston, Los Angeles and San Jose.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


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