Two Vietnamese provinces announce end of African swine fever

By Nguyen Hai   April 18, 2019 | 06:49 pm PT
Two Vietnamese provinces announce end of African swine fever
Vietnam's animal health authorities said African swine fever in the country has been controlled. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen
The northern provinces of Hoa Binh and Bac Kan have declared there have been no new cases of African swine fever in the last month.

Hoa Binh declared itself free of the epidemic on April 9, becoming the first province to do so.

Three days later Bac Kan became the second infected province to be declared free of the incurable fatal disease.

In the central province of Nghe An, agriculture authorities have recorded no new infections in Quynh Luu District's Quynh My and Quynh Hung communes, and the district has declared itself free of the disease.

Many other districts in the province have not reported any new infections for many days either, but Nghe An as a whole is not off the list yet.

"As of now, in the province only nine small livestock households are still not free of African swine fever, and have culled 161 pigs," Hoang Nghia Hieu, director of the Nghe An Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said.

A locality can declare it is free of African swine fever if no new case of a pig dying is reported for 30 days, according to Vietnam's animal health regulations.

Veterinary authorities however recommend that localities that have declared themselves free of the disease must continue taking preventive measures and instructing farmers to clean and disinfect their farms to ward off another outbreak.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s department of animal health, the disease has basically been controlled in Vietnam.

As of Tuesday 21 provinces and cities were still to be rid of the disease, including Hanoi and the port city of Hai Phong.

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 no cure for it.

But humans are not affected by the disease.

Twenty countries and territories have reported outbreaks since 2017 and over one million pigs have been put down, according to the World Organization for Animal Health. Vietnam is the third country in Asia to be hit after China and Mongolia.

In Vietnam, it was first found in the northern province of Hung Yen on February 1 before it quickly spread to other provinces and municipalities across the northern and central regions.

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