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Risk analysis of viral diseases in infected pig farms during the lockdown period in China, January to May 2020

Wang, J., Zhu, X., Cai, C., Pan, X. and Wang, C. (2022) Risk analysis of viral diseases in infected pig farms during the lockdown period in China, January to May 2020. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (6). Article 3215.

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Biosecurity plays a critical role in preventing and controlling the introduction and spread of infectious diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic in China triggered a nationwide lockdown policy which reduced most of the daily activities of people, but the pig industry was encouraged to ensure the pork supply. An investigation of biosecurity practices in intensive pig farms across several provinces in China was conducted in June 2020 via questionnaire to evaluate the factors that may pose viral diseases risk to the farms during the lockdown period from January to May 2020. A total of 50 farms in 12 provinces of China were engaged. Fourteen of them were classified as positive farms since at least one viral disease was presented during this period, including porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (seven farms), porcine epidemic diarrhea (three farms), and pseudorabies (one farm). The other three farms only reported their disease positive status but refused to release disease names. The overall farm level prevalence of viral disease was 28.0% (95%CI: 16.3–42.5%). A logistic regression model was built to identify risk/protective factors for farm positivity. In the multivariable logistic regression model, the risk factor of dead pig ‘removal by the others’ (OR = 8.0, 95%CI: 1.5, 43.5) was found to be significantly associated with viral disease positivity. On-farm incineration pits are highly recommended to be the administered for the harmless treatment of dead pigs. This is not only crucial for controlling the transmission of viral diseases but also plays a key role in reducing activity in the illegal dead meat business. According to previous studies, factors such as adapting an all-in-all-out system, on-farm incineration pits, and requiring workers to wash their hands regularly would reduce the risk of virus transmission, even though these factors did not show significance in our study. The results of our study could help to design better surveillance strategies in China and other countries.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2022 by the authors
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