African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to wreak havoc in Mizoram with 10 out of the total 11 districts currently affected by the deadly viral disease. Over 9,000 pigs have died in the last three months, according to the state’s animal husbandry and veterinary science department.
According to a data released by the department on Sunday, at least 152 villages or local areas in 10 districts are currently affected by the viral outbreak, which has claimed a total of 9,172 pigs since March, causing loss to the tune of over Rs. 36.68 crore.
Besides, the unusual death of 699 pigs was reported outside ASF infected areas, it said. Though the cause of death is suspected to be ASF, it is yet to be confirmed, the department added.
The official data also said that 1,078 pigs have been culled so far to prevent the disease from spreading further.
After testing negative for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) and Classical Swine Flu (CSF), the pig samples were sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD) in Bhopal, which confirmed the cause of pig deaths as “ASF” on April 16.
The first pig death due to an unknown disease was reported at Lungsen village in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district bordering Bangladesh on March 21.
Though the spread of the infectious disease in Lunglei district has become less severe, it started ravaging Aizawl district with 3,454 pigs killed so far in the outbreak, according to the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department.
So far, the ASF has killed 3,092 pigs in Lunglei district, 684 in Mamit district, 939 in Serchhip district, 320 in Lawngtlai district, 334 in Khawzawl district, 83 in Hnahthial district, 257 in Champhai district, 8 in Saitual district and 1 in Siaha district.
Only Kolasib district, which borders Assam, is the ASF-free district in the state.
Mizoram shares inter-state borders with Assam, Manipur, and Tripura and also international boundaries with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Swine fever is a highly contagious and deadly disease, affecting both domestic and feral swine of all ages. Experts have allayed fears over the disease spreading from pigs to humans.