A new case of African swine fever was confirmed in China, becoming the 50th outbreak of the disease to hit the country, according to reports.

The case was confirmed by the Chinese Agriculture Ministry to global media outlet Reuters earlier today (Monday, November 5).

This case was discovered on a small farm of 119 pigs in Baojing county, near the border with Chongqing in the south-west of the country, according to Reuters.

This comes hot on the heels of two cases reported over the weekend, one in Chongqing municipality, close to Baojing.

China has apparently linked feeding kitchen waste to pigs to the majority of the early cases of African swine fever in recent months, but it has not given a cause of the other cases.

The fatal disease has reached 14 provinces and municipalities in China since it was first detected in early August, Reuters adds.

Since the disease was first detected, thousands of pigs have been culled.

It is understood that China accounts for around 50% of the global population of swine, estimated at 500 million.

African swine fever is a highly contagious and usually fatal viral disease of pigs. It does not affect humans and meat from pigs does not pose any food safety risk. There is no treatment for the fever in pigs and there is no vaccine currently available.

The disease has been spreading in eastern Europe since it first entered the European Union in 2014. It has recently been detected in wild boars in countries such as Poland, Latvia, Romania and Belgium.