Publication - Advice and guidance

Aujeszky’s disease: how to spot and report the disease

Published: 28 Oct 2018

Advice on what to do if you suspect there is an outbreak of this infectious disease.

Published:
28 Oct 2018
Aujeszky’s disease: how to spot and report the disease

Aujeszky’s disease, also known as pseudorabies, affects pigs. It can also infect cattle, sheep, cats, dogs and rats. It doesn’t affect humans.

Latest situation: the last outbreak in Great Britain was in 1989.

Clinical signs

In piglets

Aujeszky’s disease affects the nervous system. In piglets signs include:

  • shivering
  • loss of coordination
  • weak hind legs

The disease is normally fatal for piglets.

Mature pigs

In adult pigs signs include:

  • breathing problems
  • fever and weight loss
  • pregnant sows may abort piglets, or give birth to weak and shivering piglets

Other animals

Other infected animals will have concentrated and intense itchiness. They will lick, rub or chew at the itchy spot.

They tend to die within a few days of infection.

If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence. 

How Aujeszky's disease is spread

Aujeszky’s disease is generally spread by direct, nose to nose, contact between pigs.

The virus can also become airborne and spread over longer distances.

It can also be spread through objects contaminated with the virus.

Human health implications

There are no human health implications because the disease is not zoonotic.

How to control the disease

An outbreak will be controlled in line with the contingency framework for exotic notifiable animal diseases.

Legislation

The main disease control legislation for Aujeszky’s Disease are the Aujeszky’s Disease Order 1983 and the Aujeszky’s Disease (Compensation for Swine) Order 1983.

Biosecurity

Biosecurity is about being aware of the ways disease can spread and taking every practical measure to minimise the risk of disease spreading. The advice details practical things you can do on your farm to help prevent the introduction and spread of Aujeszky's disease to and from your animals.

Contact

If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence.