Killer Pig Virus Gets Closer to Beijing, Shanghai

A killer pig virus began spreading in China months ago and has picked up pace, causing a new outbreak every day this month.

At least 20 provinces have reported pigs infected with the virus, which typically causes hogs to die within days, it is not known to harm humans. The disease was found close to North Korea, Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos.

More than a half million pigs have been culled to stem the disease, which threatens to disrupt China’s pork industry. The virus has been found in domesticated and wild pigs, and evidence suggests infected animals entered the food supply.

Despite strict quarantines and pig-transportation controls, the virus has traveled thousands of miles across China, which accounts for half of the world’s pigs.

Scientists found that the virus can survive for a month to more than a year in various pork products.



Photo: “Influenza” by Guilherme Tavares is licensed under CC BY 2.0