Illustrative image (Source: Internet)
 
Vientiane (VNA) – The northern Lao province of Phongsaly has reported cases of African swine fever, local daily Vientiane Times reported on July 23.

About 390 pigs have died in the latest outbreak in two districts of the northernmost province, some 732 km north of Vientiane.

On July 11, staff from the Lao Agriculture and Forestry Office carried out checks and confirmed the presence of African swine fever in two villages of Khua district of Phongsaly.

The pigs that have died were owned by 35 families, so officials are now helping them bury the carcasses and use disinfectant to prevent the disease from spreading.

Officials also found the virus in Bounneua district. Villagers have been forbidden to transport or sell pigs in a bid to contain the outbreak.

Earlier, the virus was first detected in the southern Lao province of Salavan, some 670 km southeast of the capital Vientiane, then spread to parts of Vientiane, and Savannakhet province, some 410 km east of Vientiane.

African swine fever cannot be passed from animals to humans, but people can spread the disease. The animal epidemic affects pigs and wild boars and has an almost 100 percent death rate. It requires high temperatures to kill the virus, which can survive up to three years in frozen meat and up to one year in dried meat.-VNA