Swine owners who suspect that their pigs may have hog cholera should immediately contact their local veterinarian or federal or state animal health official. Taking the following steps can help swine owners prevent the disease from occurring:
- Check animals at least twice a week for unusual signs or behaviors
- Make sure food waste is properly heated to destroy pathogens
- Isolate newly purchased hogs for at least 21 days
- Isolate sick pigs until the cause of illness is determined
- Fence property to prevent wild pigs from coming into contact with domestic herds
- Practice standard biosecurity measures, such as cleaning and disinfecting clothing, equipment, and vehicles entering and leaving the farm.
The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) maintains a constant surveillance against the entry of foreign animal diseases such as hog cholera. To ensure that pigs are free of disease, swine from countries affected by hog cholera can enter the United States only after a 90-day quarantine at a high-security import center in Key West, Florida.
APHIS coordinates an emergency task force made up of federal, state, and local officials. This task force is ready to respond immediately to any outbreak of a foreign disease. If an outbreak of hog cholera should occur, the task force would take the following actions:
- Investigate the affected farm to determine the history of illness, the types and number of pigs affected, and collect any other information relating to the illness
- Quarantine the affected premises and the surrounding areas, if necessary, to restrict the movement of affected and exposed animals
- Trace all movements of swine to and from the affected premises
- Provide laboratory services to test affected and exposed animals
- Euthanize or slaughter and dispose of all infected and exposed animals; dispose of exposed materials like bedding and manure
- Supervise cleaning and disinfection of the affected premises
- Advise and assist hog farmers in the area if their herds are susceptible to the disease or located near a quarantined area
- Increase public awareness of the outbreak and control efforts through press conferences, news releases, and public service announcements
- Make an onsite public information specialist available to answer questions and provide updates to the media and the public.