African Swine Fever Poland: Virus 40km from Germany

by on 4 December 2019

African Swine Fever has made another move in Poland creeping closer to the German border. An update by the Polish Chief Veterinary Inspectorate showed that 9 new dead wild boar have been found in western Poland, demonstrating that the virus is not contained to its initial zone.

The westernmost place where the virus surfaced was near the town Nowgrod Bobrzanski, just over 40km from the border with Germany. In addition, 4 infected carcasses were found around the city Zielona Góra. Most of the new cases were found on road sides.

ASF found in 21 locations

In total, the Polish authorities have found infected carcasses in 21 different locations in western Poland, of which 20 are in Lubusz province and 1 in Lower Silesia province. At the moment it is unclear how many infected carcasses were found exactly on these locations altogether.

So far, only the 1st of the cases in Western Poland has been reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). That outbreak was discovered in Lubusz province as it was hit by a car on November 4.

A wild boar that died of ASF in the Czech Republic. Photo: Petr Satran, Czech State Veterinary Administration}

Fence of 40km between provinces

The newspaper Gazeta Lubuska reported that in Zielona Góra, last Saturday a crisis team already met. It was decided to apply a total ban of entering the forests around the city. The newspaper also reported that a fence of 40km between the provinces Lubusz and Greater Poland has already been completed.

It remains to be seen if a 40km fence is sufficient to avoid the spread of the virus into Greater Poland, as the border is not straight, but meanders quite a lot. Cases of the virus have, until now, been found in an area measuring 40km north to south and 53km east to west.

History of ASF in entire Poland

African Swine Fever has been around in eastern Poland since 2014. For a long time, the virus stayed in Eastern Poland, infecting wild boar and farms alike, but seemed to progress relatively slowly. Early November it was suddenly found 300km more west than was hitherto known.

Vincent ter Beek –