Koronadal launches free vaccination vs hog cholera

Dr. Charlemagne Calo, city veterinarian, admitted this morning that they have monitored cases of hog cholera in the city but pointed out that the level of infection of the deadly virus among hogs in the city may not be considered an outbreak.   

"We received one to two positive cases on several occasions but we were able to respond to them properly," he said in a radio interview.

Calo urged residents to immediately inform their office if they notice symptoms of swine fever infection. The symptoms of the disease, which usually affect the piglets, are high fever, loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing, colds and skin lesions. The disease usually leads to the death of the infected animal within 15 days.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) earlier warned residents against the possible occurrence of the disease, which already caused an outbreak among backyard piggeries in Bulacan province.

The outbreak, which hit more than 3,000 hogs and piglets from backyard farms, reportedly affected 20 of Bulacan's 24 municipalities.

Calo said they are closely monitoring the entire city for possible hog cholera cases so they could immediately prevent it from spreading. He warned that hog cholera is a very highly contagious animal disease and may affect other animals within a one kilometer radius.

"This virus easily spreads through various vectors and it thrives in a cool environment. One possible case is when an animal infected with the virus would be slaughtered and its meat would be processed for tocino or hamon," he said.   

Calo said the city veterinary office is presently offering  free hog cholera vaccination for backyard and farm level piggeries in the city.

He said the hog cholera vaccines were earlier allotted to the city government by DA's Bureau of Animal Industry.

"This was given to us for free so we are also giving them out free to those who want to avail them," he stressed.

But Calo added they only give the free vaccination to a minimum of 50 heads of hogs and piglets since the vaccine's single dose is good for at least 50 animals. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)