Health News: African Swine Fever cases reported in the Philippines

Health News: African Swine Fever cases reported in the Philippines

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed last September 9, Monday that the death of pigs in parts of Rizal and Bulacan were caused by African Swine Fever (ASF), a deadly disease that is responsible for serious economic losses in the swine industry.

Secretary William Dar said that most of the blood samples they sent to a British lab tested positive for the disease, but it’s not known which strand of ASF caused the deaths.

According to the World Organization for Animal Health, ASF is a highly contagious virus that affects domestic and wild pigs. It’s transmitted via direct contact with infected pigs; indirect contact through ingestion of contaminated materials such as food waste, feeds, or garbage; or contaminated fomites such as ticks.

The disease is not a risk to human health, but humans can also be carriers of the disease if they eat or make direct contact with infected pork.

Clinical signs and mortality rates can vary depending on severity of the virus and the type and species of the pig. Acute forms of the disease causes pig to have high fever, haemorrhages in the skin, and loss of appetite, among other signs. Pigs infected with this form of ASF have no chance of surviving. Meanwhile, subacute and chronic forms of the disease produce less intense clinical signs and have a 30 to 70 percent chance of surviving.

The outbreak of the disease in the aforementioned areas have since been contained, the Department of Agriculture said.

Rappler reported that various provinces across the country, including Cebu, Bohol, Misamis Oriental, and Negros Ocicidental have imposed bans on the entry of pork and pork products to prevent contamination.

The DA is also strictly surveying the affected barangays in Rizal and Bulacan to make sure the disease doesn’t spread to other areas.

The Department of Health assured the public that pork is safe to eat.

Regardless of whether pork is infected or not, it’s important for it to be cooked thoroughly to prevent contracting any form of illness or disease.

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No matter what season, we advise getting a prepaid health insurance plan that covers either individuals or families for preventive measures against diseases like unlimited doctor consultations and check ups. There are also emergency and hospitalization cards that can be availed at cost-efficient price points.

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Get protected and start to invest in a health plan for you and your family. Make the smart move by finding more information about the plans and by weighing your options. Maria Health has partnered with the leading health maintenance organizations in the country to provide all Filipinos an accessible and affordable way to get covered. Feel free to visit our website and be health-protected.

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