Pigs test positive for African Swine Fever across the border in northern Myanmar

Blood results from pigs that died earlier this month in Myanmar have come back positive for African Swine Fever, confirming fears that the disease may now be threatening northern Thailand.

The positive results came from pigs tested in Myanmar’s Kengtung District, Shan State, around 96 kilometers from the Myanmar-Thailand border crossing between Tachilek in Shan State and Mae Sai in Chiang Rai.

The test results from around 500 pigs that died in suspicious circumstances in parts Tachilek District, some 36 kilometers from the Thai border Aug. 5,  have not yet been completed. The Chiang Rai Times reported Aug. 11 that some 2,000 pigs had been culled in the district due to concerns that the pigs may have been infected with the disease.

According to The Irrawaddy, there are also reports of dead pigs in Wa State, also known as the Wa Special Region 2 of Shan State in the far north of Myanmar near the Chinese border. The capital of Wa State – Panghsang is 108 kilometers north of Kengtung.

African Swine Fever 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 currently has a ban on the import of pork products from China and Laos in place due to the disease. An import ban on pork products from Myanmar is likely to follow if not today then in the coming days now that swine fever has been confirmed in the country.

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