Incurable African swine fever spreads to northern Vietnam port city

By Giang Chinh   February 24, 2019 | 05:05 pm PT
Incurable African swine fever spreads to northern Vietnam port city
Pigs die of African swine fever in Hai Phong. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh
Hai Phong City has become the third locality in Vietnam to detect an incurable strain of African swine fever.

The outbreak in Hai Phong was detected Friday after a farmer in Chinh My Commune, Thuy Nguyen District, reported that 35 of his pigs had died from the disease.

Three out of the five serum and viscera samples collected from the dead pigs tested positive for the African swine fever with the same pathogens as the outbreaks previously detected in the northern provinces of Thai Binh and Hung Yen, according to the Animal Health Department under the agriculture ministry.

Local authorities have disinfected the area and buried the dead pigs.

According to Pawin Padungtod, Senior Technical Coordinator of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations' Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Disease in Vietnam, African swine fever cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans, so the public should not be too worried and boycott pork.

Pig farmers should be able to prevent their livestock from getting infected with the disease simply by properly cleaning their animal pens, he said.

Padungtod also highly appreciated Vietnam's epidemic prevention efforts and thanked the Vietnamese government for preparing, responding to the African swine fever outbreak and informing the public of the outbreak in a swift manner.

"This is a very important condition for international organizations, including FAO, to mobilize resources and experts to help Vietnam control the disease soon," he said.

Last week, the Animal Health Department announced that it had discovered two separate outbreaks of African swine fever that affected 130 pigs in Hung Yen Province and another affecting 123 pigs in Thai Binh Province.

Local authorities have disposed of all the infected pigs, blocked all transportation and sales of live pigs and pig products, and sanitized farms and markets in the two provinces.

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.

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