African Swine Fever virus has jumped over big distances in recent days to reach a different island in the Philippine archipelago. The virus was reported in Davao Occidental and Davao del Sur provinces, at the southern island Mindanao.
Cases in Davao Occidental province were reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The finding is over 1,000km south from the nearest-known findings on the island Luzon, where the virus has been around since September 2019. In total, according to OIE data, in the Philippines alone, almost 187,500 pigs died as a consequence of ASF, either by the virus or by necessary cullings.
According to the OIE report, about 1,000 animals died due to ASF, in various ‘barangays’ (villages), being Linadasan, North Lamidian, South Lamidian, Calian, Mabuhay, Lawa, Nueva Villa, Baluntaya, and Lapuan, all part of the Don Marcelino municipality. The mayor immediately ordered a 24/7 lockdown in the buying or selling of pigs. In addition, checkpoints were quickly activated.
Not confirmed by the OIE yet, but reported by the Philippine News Agency, is that the virus has found its way to 2 additional provinces in the Philippines. It was confirmed to have spread to neighbouring Davao del Sur province, where the virus was found in Lamanan and Domingga barangays, part of Davao City. ASF also spread to Mindanao’s South Kotabato province, as it was found in 11 hogs in a batch of 42 in Koronadal City.
Inside Davao Occidental province, the virus also spread wider. It was also found in 7 barangays in the area around the city Malita. In various other provinces in the country, pork products from Davao Occidental have been banned.
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On another note, in the most recent updates, the virus also moved north at the island Luzon to reach the provinces Aurora and Benguet. In Benguet, for instance, the virus was found on piggeries in Tuba town and La Trinidad town, according to the Philippine News Agency.
To be better able to combat the effects of ASF, the Philippines recently introduced a nationwide zoning and movement plan to control and contain the disease. The administrative order to do so was signed on February 5.
A similar development happened more south of the Philippines, as also in Indonesia, the virus jumped from one island to another with a long distance in between. Bali confirmed the 1st outbreaks of ASF last week. The virus was already found in North Sumatra province, which is a 2,000km distance away from the new location. In fact, as the crow flies the outbreaks in East Timor are closer by (1,100 km).
The newspaper Jakarta Post reported that at Bali, so far 888 pigs are known to have died. The majority of the deaths occurred in Badung region, with 598 animals having died. Another 219 outbreaks were found in Tabanan region, both in the south of Bali. These outbreaks have not been reported to the OIE yet.
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In the meantime, the total number of outbreaks of African Swine Fever in South Korea has grown to 175, all along the border with North Korea. Ever since the first infection was noticed mid-September 2019, the virus has led to the culling of 27,000 domestic pigs and the infection of 169 wild boar along the border. Virtually every day new cases are being reported. The virus is now along the border from the east coast until 63km from the west coast of the peninsula.
In neighbouring North Korea, only 1 case has been reported, being located very close to the border with China. That outbreak was reported in May 2019.