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Czech Republic confirms eradication of ASF

Virus continues spread in other regions.

The European Commission reported Feb. 26 that the Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, has eradicated the African swine fever (ASF) virus from its territory.

The commission said following massive efforts to eradicate ASF, Czechia received the support of European Union member states to lift all restrictions in the country.

ASF had been initially discovered in June 2017 in a wild boar in the district of Zlín, Czechia, and the European Commission deployed the EU veterinary emergency team of experts and started working closely with the national and regional authorities to adopt eradication efforts.

The commission noted that the type of targeted measures used successfully in Czechia also have been implemented in Belgium, the latest EU member state to discover ASF.

Since no more ASF cases have been identified in Czechia since April 2018, the European Commission proposed to lift all restrictions, and the proposal was endorsed by a vote in a standing committee.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU commissioner for health and food safety, emphasized that "the example of Czechia demonstrates that, when the tools and strategies are developed in the EU and they are properly applied, the disease can be controlled and even eradicated. This is a small reward, yet we cannot afford to relax our efforts since the fight against African swine fever is still ongoing."

The commission said it will formally adopt the decision in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the food safety agency in Bulgaria announced a new case of ASF, which is the second case found in the country in 2019.

In Vietnam, additional ASF cases were found in a fourth municipality in the northern areas of the country.

The World Organization for Animal Health has a series of "ASF Awareness Tools" available online to help combat ASF.

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