African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious and deadly disease that affects domestic and wild pigs regardless of age and sex. ASF cannot be spread to humans and other non-swine animals and livestock and is not a threat to human health. However, humans can carry the virus on their clothing, shoes and equipment and can spread the disease unknowingly.
Historically endemic to African countries, ASF has been spreading rapidly throughout Asia and parts of Europe through 2018 and 2019. What are the symptoms of ASF, what can we do to prevent the disease, and are there any treatment options?
Signs and symptoms of ASF
- High fever (40.5–42oC)
- Sudden loss of appetite
- Hemorrhages on skin and internal organs, particularly lymph nodes
- Diarrhea, vomiting (sometimes with bloody discharge)
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden death
- High death loss
While these symptoms are similar to classical swine fever (CSF), ASF is caused by a unique virus that is distinct from CSF. Unusually high mortality rates among pigs of all ages can be a strong indicator of ASF. However, the only way to know for sure which virus pigs might be infected with is through laboratory testing. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above in your herd, contact a vet as soon as you can to ensure that the correct quarantine and treatment are completed. This could help limit the damage on your farm.
The provincial government of Surigao del Norte has stepped up measures to prevent the entry of the deadly African swine fever (ASF) in the area. So our Provincial Governor Francisco T. Matugas issued the Executive Order (EO) 20-006 on February 7, 2020 that strictly prohibits the entry of live hogs and pork-related products from regions” affected by the highly-contagious ASF amid the spread of ASF in the Davao region and other parts of the country. The order bans the entry of live hogs and pork products from Regions 11 (Davao region), 12 (Soccsksargen), and other areas in the country affected by ASF. The inclusion of Region 12 in the order was due to the fact that products transported from the area usually pass through the Davao region. Live hogs and pork products from non-affected areas, such as Cagayan de Oro and Butuan, are still allowed in Surigao del Norte but must be subjected to certain regulations. There must be certification indicating that the live hogs and pork products transported to the province are coming from regions not affected by ASF. Certification such as Veterinary Health Certificate and the Veterinary Shipping Permit from the point of origin, Livestock Handlers’ Permit and Livestock and Poultry Transport Carrier Registration from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI). Additional documents, such as Disinfection Clearance and Farm Registration from DA and BAI, must also be presented in quarantine checkpoints.
The Local Government Unit of Claver implemented 24-hour animal quarantine checkpoint and intensifies its information drive on ASF through radio programs and the social media. Regular blood sampling from hogs is conducted regularly.