TACLOBAN CITY – The African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread in Leyte province with two more towns listed as affected areas.
Department of Agriculture Eastern Visayas regional information officer Francis Rosaroso said on Tuesday samples taken from pigs in three villages of Pastrana and Burauen towns tested positive for ASF.
All hogs within a 500-meter radius from the confirmed cases in the three villages would be subjected to depopulation immediately to prevent the viral disease from spreading.
“Our appeal to every local government unit is to step up further their respective border security. We can win this fight against ASF if we will not be complacent,” Rosaroso told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Pastrana Mayor Maritess Marcos announced the confirmed cases in Jones and Calsadahay villages in a meeting with the town’s 29 village chiefs on Feb. 19.
A day earlier, Burauen Mayor Juanito Renomeron received the laboratory result from the Department of Agriculture showing that a sample from Pawa village tested positive for the animal disease.
The Burauen local government has extended the implementation of Executive Order No. 01-2021, banning the entry of live hogs and pork products from other places as well as the selling of local pork products outside of the town.
Initial investigation showed the ASF virus could have been transmitted to local farms in Leyte through an infected boar used for natural mating and by hog traders who may have fed their stocks with contaminated food products.
Earlier, ASF cases were detected in Abuyog, La Paz, Javier, Dulag, Tanauan, Palo, and MacArthur. At least 4,000 hogs have been culled in the province since January.
Leyte is the first province in the Visayas that recorded confirmed ASF infection. The first case was recorded on Jan. 14 in Abuyog town.
On Feb. 18, the DA-Bureau of Animal Industry has sent a team to primarily assist the DA regional office in determining the extent of ASF infection in Leyte.
The team has been visiting the “green zones” or areas where no single incident of ASF has been reported yet to help local governments alleviate their fears through technical assistance in blood sample collection and testing for free and train local government technicians on how to effectively collect samples.
Pigs affected by ASF usually show high fever, distinct reddish areas on the skin of the neck, chest, and extremities, plus bleeding of internal organs that could lead to death within two to 10 days. (PNA)