Dead hogs found in QC creek undergoing tests for ASF infection

Published September 12, 2019, 9:23 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Alexandria San Juan 

Three dead hogs found dumped in a creek in Quezon City on Wednesday are now being tested for African swine fever following recent confirmation of the presence of the virus in the country.

African swine fever is not harmful to humans but can be fatal to pigs - and potentially harmful to China's huge pork industry (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Dr. Ana Maria Cabel of the Quezon City Veterinary Department said the result of the test being conducted by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) is expected to come out within the week.

In a report from Quezon City Police District’s Batasan Police Station, 51-year-old Arnold Llantino found three rotten pigs near a creek along Lingayen Street, Sitio Veterans in Barangay Bagong Silangan Wednesday morning.

Prior to the discovery, police said residents in the area already noticed foul odor coming from the creek.

Authorities immediately informed personnel from BAI who took samples from the pigs for testing before burning them for proper disposal.

According to Cabel, there are external signs to determine if a pig is infected by the African swine fever (ASF) such as skin discoloration and bleeding.

“May manifestation yung ASF sa skin ng baboy. Nagkakaroon ng discoloration. Purplish na discoloration sa ears, sa back at abdomen (There is a manifestation of ASF on pig’s skin. Purplish discoloration on ears, back and abdomen of the pig),” Cabel explained.

“Yun ang predominant sign niya, yung buong katawan ng baboy ay may discoloration aside from bleeding; may bleeding sa nose o kahit saang parte ng katawan (That is the predominant sign of ASF, the whole body of the pig has discoloration aside from bleeding on the nose or any part of the body),” she added.

However, Cabel said that they cannot distinguish if the skin discoloration of the three dead hogs were due to the virus or because it is already decomposing.

“Ang baboy kasi na namatay na hindi mo natanggalan ng dugo, ganun din ang itsura ng balat, purple, and nasa advanced stage of decomposition na kaya wala nang traces ng kung anumang sakit ang ikinamatay ng baboy,” Cabel pointd out.

She added that the hogs were dead for at least three days already before they were discovered as manifested by their bloated bodies.

The City’s chief veterinary also assured residents that markets in Quezon City are still free from the virus as they are closely monitoring and inspecting markets, supermarkets, and slaughterhouses all day.

“May mga quarantine points na kami sa market at saka sa mga slaughterhouses sa Quezon City. Lahat ng dumarating na baboy talagang todo inspection kami, parang checkpoint (We already have quarantine points in all market and slaughterhouses in the City. We are closely inspecting every hogs),” Cabel shared.

According to the World Organization for Animal Health, African Swine Fever is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs but it is not a risk to human health.

“Actually, hindi transmissible ang virus to humans. Kaya lang hindi mo naman ma-eencourage yung tao na kainin yun dahil lahat naman ng baboy kapag may sakit hindi dapat kainin pero anyway hindi naman sya nakakaaffect sa humans (The virus is not transmissible to humans. But of course, we cannot encourage people to consume infected pigs),” Cabel stressed.

Earlier this week, the Department of Agriculture confirmed ASF as the cause of swine deaths in Rizal, the first in the Philippines.

Agriculture secretary William Dar said 14 out of the 20 blood samples of dead pigs from some backyard farms in Rizal tested positive for ASF virus based on laboratory tests conducted in the United Kingdom.