Tacloban records 1st ASF case


TACLOBAN CITY – A team from the city veterinary office will complete the checking of all pigs within the 500-meter radius on Friday after the city logged the first African swine fever (ASF) case.

City veterinarian Eunice Alcantara said in a phone interview the nine hogs in backyard farms in the city were tagged by authorities for disposal during a thorough check on Thursday.

“We hope to complete checking all pigs within the 500-meter radius within today (Feb. 26) to prevent the spread of ASF in the city. Only one pig has been infected and we consider this as an isolated case,” Alcantara told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

On Wednesday, Department of Agriculture Regional executive director Angel Enriquez, in a meeting with Mayor Alfred Romualdez, handed over a laboratory result confirming the sample collected from Barangay San Jose is positive for ASF.

Alcantara said ASF reached the city’s San Jose district considering its proximity to ASF-infected villages in Palo.

“We believe the virus was carried by floodwater last week or by traders and technicians who visited backyard farms” she added.

The city is highly dependent on pork meat supplies from Mindanao as its abattoir slaughters 80 to 90 pigs daily during normal days.

Citing the latest inventory, Enriquez said the city only has 5,000 heads of swine raised in backyards, not enough to meet the meat requirement of its population of more than 250,000.

Earlier, ASF cases were detected in Abuyog, Burauen, La Paz, Pastrana, Javier, Dulag, Tanauan, Palo, and MacArthur.

Leyte is the first province in the Visayas that recorded confirmed ASF infection. The first case was recorded on Jan. 14 in Abuyog town.

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

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