• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
While hog cholera, also known as Classical Swine Fever (CSF), will not affect human health, the Negros Occidental Provincial Health Office said it still boils down to basic sanitation for individuals, especially in food preparation.
Dr. Girlie Pinongan, officer in charge of the Provincial Health Office, yesterday advised the public to cook their food thoroughly, especially meat dishes, amid diseases hitting animals in the province.
Hog cholera, reported to be a contagious viral disease affecting domestic and wild swine, is transmitted through direct contact between healthy swine and those infected with CSF virus.
In its reports, the Provincial Veterinarian Office said that more than 2,400 pigs died of hog cholera in Negros Occidental, especially in the areas of Bago City and San Enrique, Valladolid, La Carlota City, Pulupandan, Pontevedra, EB Magalona, Hinigaran and Manapla.
The hog deaths affected 546 hog raisers in 57 Negros Occidental barangays.
In his issued executive order creating the Incident Management Team to address concerns of the province’s livestock industry, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson tapped the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and Coast Guard to heighten patrol of seaports, transportation terminals, and borders of Negros Occidental against bio security threats, which may adversely affect the P6 billion livestock industry of the province.
Bago City and San Enrique have logged 755 and 726 hog deaths, respectively.
Mayor Nicholas Yulo reported that they recorded clusters of hog deaths in Bago City, which are initially blamed on hog cholera.
African Swine Fever (ASF) and hog cholera have the same symptoms, according to Yulo. He however added that ASF kills every pig that goes near an infected hog, mostly adult pigs.
According to results of samples sent by the Provincial Veterinarian Office to the Bureau of Animal Industry, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson disclosed on Wednesday that Negros Occidental remains ASF free, as the laboratory examinations yielded negative results.
Yulo said that hog raisers in infected barangays may only sell their pigs within a half-kilometer radius of their place, as they are not allowed to move it to other areas.
Mayor Javier Miguel “Javi” Benitez yesterday also confirmed hog deaths in Victorias City.
Benitez said that hog deaths were reported in four or five barangays of Victorias City, although the initial testing of samples yielded negative results for ASF.
“But I think we should conduct a test again,” the neophyte mayor said.*