Image courtesy of Bob Klannukarn on Flickr
On August 19, 2019, the HealthMap system was alerted to unusual pig mortality in the Philippines that was due to suspected African Swine Fever. While African Swine Fever poses no health risk to humans, it can be lethal for swine populations because there are no known treatments or vaccines for the infectious disease. Before this incident, African Swine Fever had not been detected in the southeast Asian country. An RFI was sent on August 19, 2019 at 9:53AM to the EpiCore community.
EpiCore members responded on August 20 and 21, 2019 and confirmed that the Department of Agriculture implemented control measures while awaiting laboratory confirmation, which can be expected in approximately 2 weeks (up to 3 months at the latest). Quarantine checkpoints have been implemented to detect disease. The initial cases were identified in a town in the Rizal province. These cases reportedly had symptoms, which included loss of appetite, recumbency, vomiting, skin hemorrhages, dark discoloration in extremities and sudden death. While awaiting laboratory results, strict surveillance of unusual pig mortalities has been advised and the national government has organized emergency meetings with provincial veterinarians. EpiCore members were able to confirm pig deaths and emergency protocols that have been put in place. We are still waiting for a laboratory confirmation of disease, which will be updated once we receive any information.