African swine fever fears as 500 pigs die just across the border from Mae Sai

Around 500 pigs have died in part of Tachilek District in Shan State, Myanmar 36 kilometers from Mae Sai, Chiang Rai raising fears that African swine fever may now be at the Thailand border.

The pigs were discovered in Ban Kaew Langkun, Baan Kaan, Ban Maeong 1, Ban Maeong 2 and Ban Pa Tan in Muaeng Hai subdistrict including a number of pigs dead in an upstream tributary of the Mae Sai river.

The cause of death is as yet officially unknown with blood samples sent to Yangon for testing but with African swine fever running rampant throughout China and Laos, it’s currently the main suspect for the mass deaths.

The virus causes a hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in domestic pigs. Some isolates can cause the death of animals as quickly as a week after infection according to Wikipedia.

Thailand has a ban on the import of pork products from China and Laos in place with Myanmar likely to follow if the pigs test positive for the insidious disease.