Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation on Wednesday warned the public against eating of dead pigs following the recent outbreak of suspected African swine fever in four communities of its capital, Freetown. Mohamed Vandi, the Director, Directorate of Health Security and Emergencies in the country’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation, while addressing newsmen said that the ministry was concerned about the sporadic occurrence of suspected swine fever in Freetown.
Vandi reiterated that there was no cause for alarm as there had not been any proof as to whether the suspected African swine fever could cause illness in humans. “African swine fever affects pigs and it cannot transfer to the human population because it is not classified as a zoonotic disease,” Vandi said. He, however, revealed that the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry had intensified surveillance in the affected communities and samples were taken out of the country for testing.
NOTE: Zoonoses (also known as zoonosis and as zoonotic diseases) are infectious diseases caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites that spread between animals (usually vertebrates) and humans. Major modern diseases such as Ebola virus disease and salmonellosis are zoonoses.