A first case of African Swine Fever (ASF) has been detected on May 4th in a wild boar in the outskirts of Italy’s capital Rome. The find marks a new chapter in the spread of the virus in Italy, which started in January this year.
The new case was found in a natural park in the Rome agglomeration, at 5km from both Rome’s inner city as well as Vatican City. In a report by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) it is explained how the animal was found in “a pre-agonic state,” which is why it was killed.
The new case is located, as the crow flies, about 400km south east of the cluster in northern Italy, just north of the city of Genoa. Between January and May 2022, 113 carcasses have been found of infected wild boar in this area. The speed of the spread is relatively a-typical for Europe, seeing that roughly 1 new infected carcass is found every day. The area does not appear to grow very strongly either.
So far, it is not clear how the virus appeared in the outskirts of Rome, and whether the strain of the virus is identical to the one found in northern Italy. If the ASF virus in Italy follows the pattern of other outbreaks elsewhere in Europe, then it is likely that in the coming days more positive wild boar will be found around Rome.