Swine fever plagues 19 towns, cities in E. Visayas

Swine fever plagues 19 towns, cities in E. Visayas

TACLOBAN CITY – African swine fever (ASF) still plagues 19 towns and cities in Eastern Visayas as authorities rushed to contain the animal disease in four of the region’s six provinces, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported on Tuesday.

The ASF virus is now present in Abuyog, Javier, La Paz, Dulag, MacArthur, Tanauan, Palo, Pastrana, Burauen, Tacloban City, Jaro, Mayorga, Carigara, Tolosa, Tabontabon, and Dagami in Leyte; Lope de Vega, Northern Samar; Silago, Southern Leyte; and Calbayog City, Samar.

“The ASF infection is now controlled especially in three provinces outside Leyte. Cases have been recorded in just one village in Northern Samar and Southern Leyte and two villages in Samar. There has been a very intensive information drive done by the provincial governments. They have controlled spread through strict border control,” DA Eastern Visayas regional executive director Angel Enriquez said in a press briefing.

The experience in Leyte has taught lessons to local government units in other provinces in Eastern Visayas, Enriquez said.

As of April 30, at least 11,079 infected hogs have been culled with about PHP7.6 million indemnity funds paid to affected farmers.

The DA is still processing additional applications for PHP 5 million indemnity funds for hog raisers. 

Leyte is the first province in the Visayas which recorded confirmed ASF infection.

The first case was recorded on Jan. 14 in Abuyog town. It has now affected several areas in the province, including Tacloban City, the regional capital.

Initial investigation showed the ASF virus could have been transmitted to local farms in Leyte through infected boar being used for natural mating and by hog traders who might have fed their stocks with contaminated food products.

Pigs affected by ASF usually manifest high fever, distinct reddish areas on the skin of the neck, chest, and extremities, and bleeding of internal organs that could lead to death within two to 10 days. (PNA)

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