22 barangays in PH remain affected by ASF; vaccine trials show 'promising' results

Twenty-two barangays around the country remain affected by African Swine Fever (ASF), the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Thursday, Aug. 19.

(Keith Bacongco/ File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

The villages with active cases of the dreaded hog disease are located in eight provinces. These are Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Isabela, Leyte, Samar, and Misamis Oriental.

According to Director Ruth Miclat-Sonaco of the DA-International Training Center on Pig Husbandry, 470-ASF affected areas in the country have been cleared in the last three months.

She said that of the figure, 74 cities and municipalities have had no reported cases in the last six months, while a total of 396 municipalities have already been deemed cleared for more than six months now.

As of August 13, only 58 samples from pigs were found positive for ASF--way lower than last month's 442 positive samples.

"Pinakamababa po 'yan since last year ng August din. Overall, pababa na po iyan. It is waning meaning paliit na nang paliit ang mga sampling areas natin na nakukuha na may positive na ASF (That's the lowest since August last year. Overall, it's on a downward trend. It is waning, which means the samples that test positive for ASF continue to go down)," Assistant Secretary Noel Reyes said during a press briefing.

Meanwhile, Sonaco gave an update on the ongoing trials of the vaccines against ASF, which she described as "very promising."

"If you ask me kasi I'm privy also doon sa results ng vaccine, I think the vaccine promises a lot of things although of course kailangan din natin ng isa o dalawang pag-aaral pa para mai-rollout natin commercially but it is very promising (If you ask me as I am privy also to the result of the vaccine, I think the vaccine promises a lot of things although of course, we still need one or two more studies before its commercial roll out but it is very promising)," Sonaco said.

The director added that the research trial ended last July 30 and that the Bureau of Animal Industry will soon release an official report about the results.