Sweden on African swine flu alert

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Sweden is on high alert for a possible African swine flu outbreak that could spread to the country and the county administration in Uppsala wants all municipalities in the area to put up warning signs.

Though it is not dangerous to humans, African swine fever can be lethal to boar and domestic pigs and can be transmitted via food such as smoked sausage or ham, the Swedish Board of Agriculture said.

It is in detail described as a large, double-stranded DNA virus in the Asfarviridae family and causes a haemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in domestic pigs; some isolates can cause death of animals as quickly as a week after infection.

Officials said they have received instruction from the Swedish Board of Agriculture to inform municipalities about putting up signs at barbecue areas, picnic areas and bathing areas.

The signs, in six different languages will inform the public that leftovers should be thrown into the correct receptacles, and not left out so that pigs and wild boar can get to them.

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