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African swine fever in China "almost certain" to reach elsewhere in Asia-FAO

BEIJING, Sept 7 (Reuters) - African swine fever, currently spreading rapidly in China, is "here to stay", said the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in a statement on Friday, adding that it was "almost certain" to reach other Asian countries.

ASF was first detected in China in early August and in just over a month has been detected in 18 farms or abattoirs in six provinces, said the FAO. Many cases are more than a thousand kilometres apart.

Response to the disease is "extremely challenging", said the statement, citing experts at an emergency meeting called by the FAO in Bangkok this week, as the virus can survive for months in meat products.

(Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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