The prolongation of the classic swine fever (CSF) outbreak in Japan in 2018 was highly associated with the persistence and widespread of the CSF virus (CSFV) in the wild boar population. To investigate the dynamics of the CSF outbreak in wild boar, spatiotemporal analyses were performed. The positive rate of CSFV in wild boar fluctuated dramatically from March to June 2019, but finally stabilized at approximately 10%. The Euclidean distance from the initial CSF notified farm to the farthest infected wild boar of the day constantly increased over time since the initial outbreak except in the cases reported from Gunma and Saitama prefectures. The two-month-period prevalence, estimated using integrated nested Laplace approximation, reached >80% in half of the infected areas in March–April 2019. The area affected continued to expand despite the period prevalence decreasing up to October 2019. A large difference in the shapes of standard deviational ellipses and in the location of their centroids when including or excluding cases in Gunma and Saitama prefectures indicates that infections there were unlikely to have been caused simply by wild boar activities, and anthropogenic factors were likely involved. The emergence of concurrent space–time clusters in these areas after July 2019 indicated that CSF outbreaks were scattered by this point in time. The results of this epidemiological analysis help explain the dynamics of the spread of CSF and will aid in the implementation of control measures, including bait vaccination.
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