RWANDA – The Rwanda Agricultural and Animal Resources Board (RAB) has issued a warning to Musanze locals against eating pork following the discovery of the “swine erysipelas” disease in Muko Sector.

The infectious disease known as Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, which causes swine erysipelas, is frequently characterized by fever, skin lesions on pigs, and abrupt death. It is one of the oldest known diseases that affects both adult and growing pigs.

The disease had earlier resulted in the death of over 200 pigs in Musanze District leading to movement and consumption restrictions in the affected areas.

According to the district authorities, the case was traced in the Muko sector, Songa cell, where the allegedly unknown disease killed 38 old pigs, and 216 piglets on February 17.

Pork is one of the most popular meats in the area, and there are 23,000 pig farmers raising about 10,000 of the pigs in the Musanze District.

As one of the preventive measures against the disease’s spread, the populace in the Muko, Kimonyi, Muhoza, Rwaza, and Busogo sectors of Musanze was advised to stop slaughtering, eating, and selling pigs as well as moving from one place to another.

RAB also advised pig farmers to vaccinate their domestic animals, apply disinfectants and other hygiene practices, isolate any pigs suspected of exhibiting indications of the infection and avoid eating any animal that died under questionable circumstances.

Swine erysipelas

Swine erysipelas is an infectious disease that mostly affects growing pigs and is brought on by the bacteria Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae

Clinical symptoms include abrupt death, fever, skin lesions, and arthritis. Fevers can cause abortions in sows and gilts that are pregnant.

Stress factors such as overstocking, mixing pigs after weaning, and sudden changes in temperature can trigger clinical erysipelas.

Bacteria are frequently discharged into the environment through faeces, urine, nasal secretions, and saliva.

Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae can survive for weeks outside the pig. Deep litter bedding and earthen bottoms in ecoshelters can promote the growth of microorganisms in the environment.

The pathogen can also lead to severe mortality in turkeys and polyarthritis in sheep and lambs.

Erysipeloid, a local skin lesion that develops in people as a result of infection, primarily affects personnel in laboratories, veterinary clinics, and slaughterhouses.

In humans, infection causes erysipeloid, a local skin lesion, which occurs mainly as an occupational hazard for abattoir workers, veterinarians, laboratory workers, etc.

The organism is occasionally isolated from cases of endocarditis in humans and rarely causes acute septicaemic disease.

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