After an absence of more than 20 years, African swine fever has returned to Zimbabwe. The Director of Livestock and Veterinary Services in Harare informed the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about two outbreaks of the disease in the far northeast of the country in the second week of July 2015. Around 50 animals died of 1,918 village pigs in two villages near Mount Darwin in the region of Mashonaland Central. The source of infection is thought to be contact by the free-ranging domestic pigs with infected animals while grazing or at watering points.

The Mount Darwin district, which lies close to the border with Mozambique, has been placed in quarantine and movements of pigs and pig products into and out of the area have been halted. Infected carcasses are being disposed of by burning and burying.

Zimbabwe has also been struggling since April of 2014 to bring under control foot and mouth disease (FMD), which has hit many cattle herds in the southeastern and southwestern parts of the country.

Recent African swine fever outbreaks in other African countries

2014 saw widespread outbreaks of the disease across the continent. OIE received reports of one or more cases in Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia in 2014. The Organization also believes the disease to have been present in Guinea-Bissau and Uganda.

So far in 2015, local media have reported outbreaks in Zambia in February and in Uganda as recently as July. OIE has received notification of two outbreaks in Cabo Verde and one in Chad and Cote d’Ivoire in 2015.