By News Desk  @bactiman63

Agriculture officials in Leyte province in the Visayas region of the Philippines are reporting Africa swine fever (ASF) in several barangays (villages).

Blood samples taken from hogs in Abuyog tested positive for ASF, the first case reported in the Eastern Visayas.

Image/Chun-San via pixabay

“Samples collected were submitted to the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory VIII, which yielded positive results for 4 out of 7 samples tested using ASF antigen detection rapid test,” Agriculture Regional Director Angel Enriquez said in a statement, referring to barangay Canaporong and Bunga in Abuyog town. He said officials will take steps to stop the spread of the virus.

Abuyog Mayor Lemuel Gin Traya said as part of their containment measures, no hogs would be allowed entry and exit until February 14. Swine culling will be conducted in areas with ASF, and owners will be compensated for the loss.

Pigs infected with the ASF virus experience high fever, depression, loss of appetite, redness of ears, abdomen, and legs, vomiting, and diarrhea that may lead to death.

At present, there is no vaccine or treatment for ASF.

Because ASF can spread easily, hog raisers are advised not to feed raw or undercooked pork products (swill, garbage, or waste) to pigs. Also, to monitor the animals daily for any sign of illness, to isolate those found to be sick, and to contact the veterinarian immediately for medical intervention.

Preventive measures for pig handlers may include handwashing when they get home from a farm or market; and cleaning of shoes, or tires of vehicles used in the pig farm.

Although ASF is not a threat to human health, infected animals are unfit for consumption under the Food Safety Act.

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