African swine fever reaches central Vietnam

By Vo Thanh   March 18, 2019 | 07:42 pm PT
African swine fever reaches central Vietnam
A pig is transported away for disposal in a farm in Phong Son Commune, Phong Dien District, Thua Thien-Hue, March 18, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/An Binh
Veterinary authorities on Monday detected African swine fever on a farm in Thua Thien-Hue Province after a few pigs were found dead there.

It is the 19th locality in Vietnam to which the disease has spread and the first in the mid-central region. 

A pig farm in Phong Son Commune, Phong Dien District, discovered three dead pigs last Saturday, and they were later confirmed to be infected with African swine fever, head of the local Veterinary Department, Nguyen Van Hung, said Monday.

The dead animals were subsequently disposed of and all farms in the area were sanitized to contain the disease, he added.

Inspection stations have been set up on all roads leading to Phong Son Commune.

Despite having controlled the flow of cattle coming in and out of the province and the selling and butchering of pigs, the disease still found its way into Thua Thien Hue, Hung said.

"We suspect the virus might have come here via tourism since [the family that owns the infected farm] has a small shop for tourists to come in and rest."

Vietnam is the third country in Asia to be hit by the disease after China and Mongolia.

African swine fever is a viral disease that infects all pig species through bodily fluids such as blood and mucus, causing hemorrhagic fever. There is currently no cure for it.

However, humans are not affected by the disease.

Twenty countries and territories have reported outbreaks of the disease since 2017 and over one million pigs have been culled, according to the World Organization for Animal Health.

In Vietnam, the disease first hit northern Vietnam before spreading to the nearby Nghe An and Thanh Hoa provinces. Hanoi and the port city Hai Phong are also infected.

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