ARUSHA, Tanzania, March 26 (Xinhua) -- An outbreak of African swine fever has hit southern Tanzania's region of Ruvuma as over 900 pigs have been killed by the disease, authorities said Monday.
Bilaly Mwegeni, Agricultural, and Fisheries officer in the region said that Songea municipality is the highly affected area. Songea Municipality is the Ruvuma Region headquarters, located 1,053 km from Tanzania's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.
Mwegeni said that from Jan. 31 to March 14 this year, over 900 pigs have died due to the disease, which is caused by African swine fever virus (ASFV). The virus causes a hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in pigs.
"This figure is based on the reported death cases at our department, but I am sure that there are many unreported cases," the official said.
According to the official, the affected wards in the municipality include Ndilima, Litembo, Lizaboni, Msamala, Matarawe, and Ruhuwiko.
He said that a ban on the sale of pig products in the region has been enforced and will remain effective until the African swine fever is under control.