OIE: Action needed to curb the spread of African swine fever in the Americas

Since 2018, African swine fever (ASF) has spread relentlessly, affecting more than 50 countries in Africa, Europe and Asia.

Countries in the Americas Region are now also on alert, as the Dominican Republic has notified through the World Animal Health Information System (OIE-WAHIS) the reoccurrence of ASF after years of being free from the disease. While further investigations are ongoing to determine how the virus entered the country, several measures are already in place to halt its further spread.

When ASF reached Asia in 2018, a regional Standing Group of Experts was convened in the Americas under the Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs) to get ready for a potential introduction of the disease. This group has been providing critical guidelines on disease prevention, preparedness and response, in line with the global initiative for the control of ASF.

After the official alert was disseminated via the OIE-WAHIS, the OIE and FAO mobilised their Standing Group of Experts in order to provide support to the regional countries. The group is calling on countries to reinforce their border controls, as well as to implement the OIE international Standards on ASF to mitigate the risk of disease introduction.

An Emergency Management Regional Team has also been established to closely monitor the situation and support the affected and neighbouring countries, under the GF-TADs leadership.