Incurable African swine fever detected in northern Vietnam

By Vo Hai   February 20, 2019 | 03:53 pm GMT+7
Incurable African swine fever detected in northern Vietnam
Medical personnel rehearse preventing African swine fever from getting into Vietnam in the northern province of Lao Cai at the end of 2018. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

An incurable strain of African swine fever has been detected in Hung Yen and Thai Binh provinces, it was announced Tuesday.

A source from the Animal Health Department under the agriculture ministry said there were two separate outbreaks in Hung Yen, with over 130 pigs infected, while Thai Binh had one outbreak with 123 pigs infected.

The infected pigs have been killed, the department said.

Local authorities have also blocked all transportation and sales of live pigs and pig products, and sanitized farms and markets in the provinces, it said.

The disease might have entered the country through migratory birds that fly from areas with cold climates to warmer ones, in this case Vietnam, said Pham Van Dong, head of the department.

Citizens and travelers who brought in pig products from overseas might also be the source of the outbreaks, he added.

Farms whose pigs are infected and disposed of can get compensation of VND38,000 ($1.65) per kilogram of disposed pigs.

However, they must inform authorities upon discovering infections, and they are forbidden from either selling such pigs or disposing of them on their own, Dong said.

Farmers have been advised to sanitize their farming areas to prevent the disease from spreading, he added.

The African swine fever is a viral disease that exclusively infects all pig species through bodily fluids such as blood or mucus. It causes hemorrhagic fever with a 100 percent mortality rate. There is currently no cure for it.

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

Vietnam's Animal Health Department has taken hundreds of blood from pigs in areas surrounding the outbreaks and test results will be announced soon, Dong said.

After outbreaks were confirmed in the country, Taiwan announced to fine travelers from Vietnam about $6,500 if they bring pork into Taiwan, and $32,400 for second time offenders, beginning Wednesday, Central News Agency reported.

 
 
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