Pigs on a farm in Tianjin, China.Picture: Bloomberg
JOHANNESBURG - China has detected African swine fever on a farm in the eastern province of Anhui, its tenth case since the first outbreak of the virus was discovered just over a month ago, the government said on Thursday.

The agriculture ministry said in a statement that 22 hogs had died and 62 were infected on the farm, which has over 800 pigs, in the city of Chuzhou.

The outbreak, the fifth since Sunday, is relatively close to four other cases in Anhui, stirring concerns about the increasing speed of infection in the region.

The disease has travelled vast distances in the world’s largest pork producer from Jiamisu, Heilongjiang, on the border with Russia to Wenzhou, in Zhejiang province, which is 3,000 km (1,865 miles) to the south.

The farm in Chuzhou is also bigger than the smallhold operations that have reported infections so far. Experts say backyard farms are more vulnerable to infection as they have lower biosecurity measures in place.

Swine fever is transmitted by ticks and direct contact between animals, and can also travel via contaminated food, animal feed, and people travelling from one place to another. There is no vaccine. It is not harmful to humans.

- REUTERS