African swine fever hits another Mindanao town

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 13) — The African swine fever continues to spread in Mindanao. This time the deadly virus has infected hogs in Sulop town, Davao del Sur.

The Agriculture Department in Davao region on Wednesday confirmed that some pigs in the villages of Palili and Laperas in Sulop have tested positive for the swine fever.

Last week, backyard hog raisers in these two villages, as well as Solongvale in Sulop and Aplaya in Hagonoy town, reported that their pigs were sick. Samples were then taken for testing.

Provincial Veterinarian Russel Celis told reporters that areas within the one-kilometer radius from these four villages were quarantined. He added that all hogs within the one-kilometer radius will be culled as part of government protocol.

Affected hog raisers will be paid ₱5,000 each for each pig culled, Celis said.

Davao del Sur is the latest province in Mindanao to have confirmed cases of the swine fever. The virus reached the island region in January, killing 1,000 pigs in Don Marcelino town, Davao Occidental. The provincial government has since declared a state of calamity with the disease affecting 10,000 hogs.

A number of provinces, including Cebu, Iloilo, and the Zamboanga Peninsula recently expanded their ban on live swine, pork, and pork products to the entire Mindanao region to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Philippines had its first African swine fever outbreak in July last year. The first cases were confirmed in Luzon, including a number of cities in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

LOOK: A timeline of African Swine Fever in the PH

The African swine fever does not pose health risks on humans, but they can carry the virus and spread it. Infected hogs can die in three to five days, threatening food supply.