Classical swine fever (CSF) or hog cholera (also sometimes called pig plague based on the German word Schweinepest) is a highly contagious disease of swine (Old World and New World pigs). It is mentioned as a potential bioweapon.
Swine fever causes fever, skin lesions, convulsions, Splenic Infarctions and usually (particularly in young animals) death within 15 days.
The disease has acute and chronic forms, and can range from severe, with high mortality, to mild or even unapparent.
In the acute form of the disease, in all age groups, there is fever, huddling of sick animals, loss of appetite, dullness, weakness, conjunctivitis, constipation followed by diarrhoea, and an unsteady gait. Several days after the onset of clinical signs, the ears, abdomen and inner thighs may show a purple discoloration. Animals with acute disease die within 1-2 weeks. Severe cases of the disease appear very similar to African swine fever. With low virulence strains, the only expression may be poor reproductive performance and the birth of piglets with neurologic defects such as congenital tremor.
The signs are indistinguishable from those of African swine fever.