Swine fever outbreak in Arusha

Arusha city council has imposed a quarantine on the movement of livestock in a bid to halt the spread of the African swine fever virus (ASFV) following the deaths of hundreds of infected pigs around the city since early June. The directive bans the movement of pigs within the region as well as the import and export of pigs outside Arusha.

Efforts to contain the disease are not aided by the significant number of stray pigs in Arusha, and locals have been instructed not to allow their pigs to mix with other members of the species, either stray or domestic.

The city's exact pig population is not known but there are over 27,000 pigs in the entire Arusha region according to the regional livestock department. Although the virus is highly contagious and kills infected animals within 24 hours, it is not dangerous to humans.

Endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, ASFV can infect domestic pigs, warthogs and bushpigs, and is likely carried by ticks. It causes fever, skin lesions and convulsions, and infected animals usually die within about two weeks. There is no vaccine or cure.