Impact of human behavior on the spread of African swine fever virus: what every veterinarian should know

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2022-07-28
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Rademacher, Chris
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American Veterinary Medical Association
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Brown, Justin
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Karriker, Locke
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Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine
The mission of VDPAM is to educate current and future food animal veterinarians, population medicine scientists and stakeholders by increasing our understanding of issues that impact the health, productivity and well-being of food and fiber producing animals; developing innovative solutions for animal health and food safety; and providing the highest quality, most comprehensive clinical practice and diagnostic services. Our department is made up of highly trained specialists who span a wide range of veterinary disciplines and species interests. We have faculty of all ranks with expertise in diagnostics, medicine, surgery, pathology, microbiology, epidemiology, public health, and production medicine. Most have earned certification from specialty boards. Dozens of additional scientists and laboratory technicians support the research and service components of our department.
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African swine fever virus was first identified and characterized in Africa in the early 1900s, but it has spread exponentially in Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean since 2018. While it is a disease that exclusively affects swine, thus posing no infectious risk to human health, the virus’s resiliency and human behavior have facilitated the rapid global dissemination of the virus over the past 4 years. In this Currents in One Health, we will review its epidemiology, viral characteristics, host range, and current prevention strategies; the current perspective on what a response would look like and who would be affected; and if the virus was ever found in the US. Due to the fact that the virus affects all breeds of Sus scrofa, including those used for food and companionship, it is vital for all veterinarians to work together to keep the virus out of the US. It is only through the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally that we can contain the spread of this virus.
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This article is published as Rademacher, Chris, Justin Brown, and Locke Karriker. "Impact of human behavior on the spread of African swine fever virus: what every veterinarian should know." Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (2022). DOI: 10.2460/javma.22.06.0250. Copyright 2022 American Veterinary Medical Association. CC BY-NC 4.0. Posted with permission.
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