Some of the diseases referred to here, including Nipah, have been known to infect those who take part in the Raaj, the largest annual religious pilgrimages in the world, where animals are sometimes sacrificed.
While “zoonotics” have not been as common here as elsewhere, the same cannot be said for diseases deadly to hogs - outbreaks which have proven - for much of North America - to be nothing short of rampant.
|Photos by Manitoba Pork.|
The swelling around the kidneys and the muscle hemorrhages
shown here are typical of pigs with African swine fever.
Photo by Karen Apicelli USDA.
ASF was first reported in domestic pigs in eastern Africa in 1921. It is harmless to humans. But it kills up to 90% of pigs. They start to bleed inside. Blood sometimes gushes from their ears and flanks. Their lungs fill with fluids. They lose their appetite and energy, abort their young and die, suddenly, within ten days. The virus spreads through the secretions of sick animals. It can survive for long periods on workers’ clothes or hay, helping it move from farm to farm. It can travel even farther when contaminated pork is transported. Pigs or wild boar become infected if they eat the scraps.
As the CDC cautions, "The more animals are kept in close quarters, the more likely it is that infection or bacteria can spread among them. Concentrated animal feeding operations or large industrial animal farms can cause a myriad of environmental and public health problems?"
|Unlike "ILOs," animals on this family farm in Manitoba get to bask in the sun,|
breathe fresh air and roam in spacious pastures. A PinP photo.