Japan finds African swine fever in pork products from China

TOKYO, Feb. 14 ― Japan has found African swine fever virus in pork products that were carried into two airports by visitors coming from Beijing and Tsingtao in January, highlighting growing concerns over the spread of the highly contagious disease in Asia.

The Japanese agriculture ministry said that the pork products were collected from visitors arriving at Narita Airport on Jan. 24 and Fukuoka Airport, southern Japan, on Jan. 27.

Genetic testing at an animal quarantine station detected the disease virus in samples of the products on Feb. 7, according to the ministry. They became No. 9 and No. 10 cases where the African swine fever virus were found in pork products in Japan.

African swine fever is not harmful to humans but is often fatal to pigs and impossible to vaccinate against.

African swine fever has now reached most of China’s pig-farming regions. As concerns have grown over the rapid onset of the deadly disease in China, experts have suggested that the spread of the virus to China’s neighboring countries is a near certainty.

Since the first outbreak of the disease in China, bringing pork products from China is prohibited in Japan.

Japan has significantly increased quarantine operations at airports as well as seaports, especially for flights and ships from China.

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