Classical Swine Fever

Classical swine fever, or hog cholera, is a contagious disease of pigs and wild boar. It causes fever, skin lesions, convulsions, and usually death within 15 days. Symptoms are indistinguishable from those of African swine fever. CSFV, previously called hog cholera virus, is the infectious agent. It is closely related to ruminant pestiviruses which causes Bovine Viral Diarrhea.

Effects vary widely depending on the strain and thus have a large range of clinical signs. Virulent strains show acute, obvious disease and high mortality, including neurological signs and hemorrhages within the skin. Less virulent strains may pass without detection.
Infected piglets help to maintain the disease within the population. Incubation periods last from 2 to 14 days, although clinical signs may not appear until 2 to 3 weeks. Animals with acute infection may survive up to 3 months before dying.

Eradicating CSF is problematic. Current action revolves around rapid detection, diagnosis and slaughter. Vaccination is only used where the virus is widespread in the domestic pig population. In this case, slaughter policy is impractical.