Swine Fever Rapidly Spreading in China

SHANGHAI – Channel NewsAsia has reported that African swine fever has spread rapidly to more than half of China’s provinces despite measures to contain it. A joint statement was issued by the ministries of agriculture, transport, and public security on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, stating that:

The African swine fever prevention and control situation is very serious. The epidemic has appeared in 17 provinces, spreading to large pig-farming provinces in southern China.

The African swine fever prevention and control situation is very serious. The epidemic has appeared in 17 provinces, spreading to large pig-farming provinces in southern China.

The good news is that this version of swine fever is considered unlikely to be transmitted to human beings. Before we all breathe too large a sigh of relief, we must understand that the rapid and uncontrolled spread of the fever is, nonetheless, dangerous.

Ten Reasons Why Swine Fever in China Is Dangerous

First, it kills the pigs. Every pig that contracts the fever dies.

Second, there is no vaccine or cure for the disease.

Third, China has no biosecurity infrastructure.

Fourth, China is the major supplier of pork products to East and Southeast Asia.

Fifth, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) has said the likelihood of the disease spreading to other Asia nation is not a matter of “if,” but of “when.” In fact, the FAO has warned that “the introduction of the virus to other countries in the region is a near certainty.”

Sixth, China has at least 433 million pigs. That’s more than half of the global pig population. By contrast, the U.S. has more than six times fewer.

Seventh, this strain is so contagious and robust that it “can persist in uncooked pork for weeks, whether it is fresh, frozen, or dried and salted.” It can live in unprocessed pig carcasses for months.

Eighth, the epidemic is already considered out of control. The transportation of live pigs over long distances may have already endangered significant numbers of animals.

Ninth, The Public Library of Science in the U.S. has said that the fever threatens the swine industry worldwide. The problem for the American pork industry is how long it will be possible to keep the disease out of the country.

Tenth, the continued spread of the disease within the swine population could pose a serious threat to the global economy in terms of commodity prices and livelihoods while also having a devastating impact on a major protein source in the global food chain.

You Are Probably Asking Yourself . . .

What in the world does this have to do with missions?

Simply this: While we are fascinated by the amazing advances in technology in the 21st century, we are still unable to prevent and control the spread of new diseases. Neither do we seem to be able to find a practical global solution to ensure clean water and sanitation, or a way to eradicate poverty, or to prevent earthquakes, or to control the ravages of weather.

The point of this article is to remind us that the need to reach the unreached is great, the laborers are few, and the time is short. Issues as significant as this can reawaken us to how quickly destruction can catch us unaware. They also should be reminders of the security we have in the love and comfort of Christ – and the need to reach those who have not heard of Jesus’ love while we can.


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