Leyte town confirms first cases of ASF in Eastern Visayas

Published January 16, 2021, 10:23 AM

by Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN CITY – Due to an alarming series of deaths of domesticated swine in several barangays, and after a series of investigations and laboratory reports, the municipality of Abuyog, Leyte has confirmed the first African swine fever (ASF) cases in Leyte, and the whole Eastern Visayas region.


The office of Mayor Lemuel Gin Traya has created a task force to control and prevent the escalation of ASF in their municipality.

No movement of swine and hogs shall be allowed into and from the town from January 14 to February 15. Hogs should be strictly confined in the barangays where they are being raised either, for private or commercial purposes.

Three local veterinary quarantine checkpoints in the boundaries of Abuyog, Leyte, are now in place, and are being manned by the Bureau of Animal Industry- Veterinary Quarantine Station Region 8 (BAI-VQS), Philippine National Police (PNP), Provincial Agriculture, and Veterinary Office of Leyte and the Local Government of Abuyog.

He said that culling or depopulation of swine should be imposed on areas or barangays where swine are infected with ASF. From an infected swine as a point of reference, all swine within a 500-meter radius have to be culled.

Determination of the recipients and the amount of indemnification shall be according to the rules and regulations of the Department of Agriculture (DA-8) to be conducted by the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist, Municipal Accountant, Office of the Municipal Treasurer, and finally, by the Office of the Municipal Mayor.

DA-8 has confirmed that the ASF outbreak started in Barangay Can-aporong of Abuyog.

The Municipal Agriculture Office of Abuyog first received a report of unusual swine mortalities in backyard farms in Brgy. Can-aporong and Bunga in the latter part of December 2020.

The Provincial Veterinary Office of Leyte, in coordination with DA-8, conducted a disease investigation and sample collection in the two barangays on January 6.

Samples collected were submitted to the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory VIII (RADDL VIII) which yielded positive results for four out of seven samples tested using ASF antigen detection rapid test.

Since the test conducted only served as a screening test, ASF positive serum samples were sent to the BAI Animal Disease Diagnosis and Reference Laboratory (BAI-ADDRL) on January 11 for confirmatory testing using Real-time PCR. The samples yielded a positive result for the ASF virus on January 12.

African swine fever is a contagious, viral disease that affects domestic pigs and wild boar, leading to high mortality.

However, it does not infect people, but upon consumption, people may become carriers of the disease. It is transmitted by airborne droplets from a person’s sneeze or cough, or germs on hands, or germ-laden surfaces.

Meanwhile, DA-8 Regional Executive Director Angel Enriquez, urges

the swine stakeholders in the area to report any unusual swine mortalities to its municipal/city, provincial veterinary offices.

The nearby municipalities of Mayorga and La Paz, Leyte have also issued an advisory against the movement of swine coming from other towns.