SWINE FEVER SPREADS: Another Iloilo town tagged as ‘red zone’

New Lucena Town Hall (Wikipedia Photo)

By John Noel E. Herrera

The town of New Lucena in Iloilo province has been tagged as a “red zone” or infected area after two barangays logged confirmed cases of African Swine Fever (ASF).

The Iloilo Provincial Veterinary Office confirmed that swine specimen samples from Brgys Badiang and Guinobatan tested positive for ASF using the convective PCR (cPCR) test.

Based on the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Administrative Order 52, a specific municipality will only be placed under a “red zone” if two or more barangays were already affected.

If the case was logged in one area or site, only the area within the 0.5-kilometer radius from the index case will be placed under the “red zone” classification.

Provincial Veterinarian Darel Tabuada previously said that there were no commercial farms in these areas, and all affected hog farms were backyard raisers.

IPVO added that the samples initially collected from 6 live hogs in Guinobatan that got sick were previously exposed to other sick hogs in Badiang, which had already been depopulated and properly buried.

“We collected 2 samples from Badiang on November 15, both of which turned out positive when the result came out on November 16. We recollected samples on November 18 because the 500-meter radius extended to another barangay, which is Guinobatan, and out of 4 samples we submitted for a lab test, 1 turned out to be positive,” Tabuada previously explained.

Meanwhile, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. issued Executive Order No. 460-C, amending EO 460 which implements adjusted quarantine procedures and disease prevention and control measures against ASF in Iloilo province.

The EO also stated that the towns of Oton, San Miguel, Leganes, and New Lucena are “hereby declared Red (Infected) Zones and movement of live pigs, pork, pork products (fresh/frozen products and uncooked processed pork products, except cooked and canned processed pork products), and swine genetic materials in and out of the said municipalities shall be prohibited.”

Aside from New Lucena, which now has two barangays with confirmed ASF cases, the towns of Oton (31 affected barangays), San Miguel (six affected barangays), and Leganes (four affected barangays) have already been placed under the “red zone” ASF zoning classification.

Seven towns in the province already have confirmed ASF cases, which include Oton, San Miguel, Leganes, Alimodian, Santa Barbara, New Lucena, and Mina being the latest.

Data from IPVO also indicated that Iloilo province has 366 ASF cases, with 206 in Oton, 42 in San Miguel, 10 in Leganes, 3 each in Alimodian and New Lucena, and two in Santa Barbara. The total number of depopulated hogs in the province is 1,504.

A total of 45 barangays were affected, including 31 in Oton, six in San Miguel, four in Leganes, two in New Lucena, and one each in Alimodian and Santa Barbara, while the number of affected farmers is now at 168.

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