African swine fever in Philippines is an outbreak, not epidemic: gov't official

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-16 23:39:31|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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MANILA, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- African swine fever is an outbreak instead of an epidemic in the Philippines, acting Philippine Agriculture Secretary William Dar said on Monday.

Dar said in a statement that the "African swine fever episodes in several areas" in Bulacan province and Rizal province just outside of Metro Manila, the Philippines' capital, have been contained.

The African swine fever cases in those two provinces "may be considered an outbreak but not an epidemic," the agriculture chief stressed, adding that "not the entire country" is affected.

The Philippines confirmed its first case of African swine fever on September 9 and the government said 7,416 pigs have been culled to manage, contain and control the spread of the disease.

On September 14, Quezon City Mayor Josefina Belmonte announced that 11 dead pigs floating in the city's creek tested positive for African swine fever, prompting her to order the killing of more than 50 pigs from various backyard pig raisers.

Nearly 1,000 more pigs will be killed, Belmonte told reporters, adding that she received reports of dead pigs in another village, but did not know how many there were.

Dar further said that the government is conducting a "continuous strict surveillance" to prevent the spread of African swine fever virus.

Dar also urged hog raisers to report sick and dead pigs to the Bureau of Animal Industry to determine the cause of sickness or death. He warned that hog raisers who fail to report about their sick pigs could face jail time and fines.

Since last year, the Philippines has imposed the temporary ban on the importation, distribution, and sale of processed pork meat products from 20 countries and regions affected by the deadly African swine fever virus.

African swine fever virus is a highly contagious hemorrhagic fever in pigs caused by a virus and can be spread via fomites and uncooked pig products. The disease has up to 100 percent mortality rates.