The highly contagious Classical Swine Fever, also known as hog cholera, was eradicated from the United States in 1978, and USDA and participants of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) want it to stay that way. NAHLN is a USDA-sponsored network of federal and state resources designed to enable a rapid response to animal health emergencies.

CSF is a highly contagious viral disease in swine is remains  widespread in hogs and wild boars in many countries worldwide.

As part of the effort to keep CSF out of the United States, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services and NAHLN, has established a national CSF surveillance program. The objective is to enhance surveillance and rapid detection of CSF if it enters the United States. There are 18 states currently participating in the program. Diagnostic laboratories that make up the national network will receive samples from veterinarians and pork producers. Selected labs will perform the CSF testing, while other NAHLN labs will collect samples and forward them to designated testing sites.

Veterinarians will send samples from swine suspicious for CSF to participating labs. Sick pigs within the participating states also will be included in the CSF surveillance program.

There is no reason to think that U.S. swine operations are any more at risk now than in the past 30 years, says Gary Anderson, who heads Kansas State University's NAHLN. But it is important to stay vigilant.

CSF is not a threat to humans. However, if it enters the U.S. hog herd it could mean millions of dollars in losses to  pork producers and the affiliated industries, including lost export markets.

Source: Kansas State University