Illustrative image. (Source: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The rapid onset of the African swine fever (ASF) in China may spread to neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia and the Korean peninsula, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned on August 28.

Last month, the deadly pig virus was detected in four different localities of China. The FAO said that the distances between each outbreak, which is up to 1,000km, highlighted the danger of the virus spreading to other Asian countries.

Although the disease poses no direct threat to human health, outbreaks are likely to leave devastating impacts on China’s husbandry sector. China is a major pig producing country and accounts for approximately half of the global pig population.

There are no effective vaccines to protect pigs from the disease. Chinese authorities have culled over 24,000 pigs in the four provinces to limit further spreading, according to FAO.

China reported its first case of the disease in northeastern province of Liaoning earlier this month.

The movement of pig products, rather than live pigs, has caused the spread of the virus to other parts of China, according to FAO. –VNA