The Department of Agricultural (DA) has called the attention of hog growers in the country to report any unusual pig mortalities to local government agricultural offices.
The DA raised the concern as reports have emerged that China has discovered a new type of swine flu that is capable of triggering another pandemic.
According to the study, the virus named G4 descended from the H1N1 strain that caused a pandemic in 2009. The study that was conducted in China from 2011 to 2018 and revealed that 10.4% of swine workers had already been exposed and as many as 4.4% of the general population also appeared to have antibodies.
In a virtual presser on Tuesday, agriculture department assistant secretary Noel Reyes said that unusual pig mortalities and pigs experiencing flu-like symptoms must be consulted to physicians.
“DA-BAI constantly remind the general public to report any unusual pig mortalities to your farm veterinarians or to the nearest government veterinary/agricultural office,” he said.
The department stated that reports on flu-like symptoms have been increasing during the rainy season and could affect both agricultural workers and the country’s swine production.
The research conducted in China showed that the virus can be passed from animals to humans, but human to human transmission has not been established yet.
“Again, ina-assure ng DA through the BAI na tayo ay wala pa nito at hindi tayo nag-i-import ng baboy at pork products from China, hindi pa rin pupuwede,” Reyes said.
“Kung meron mga flu-like symptoms ‘yong mga baboy ay i-report agad sa beterinaryo,” he said.
BAI also strongly recommend swine farm owners to consult their licensed veterinarians to review farm biosafety and biosecurity programs.
In 2019, the country’s hog growers faced the threat of the African Swine Fever (ASF).
DA-BAI added that the bureau will host this week a technical meeting with the Philippine Inter-agency Committee on Zoonoses to prepare the framework for managing emerging diseases that affect animals and humans.
The public, especially those engaged in animal farming, was also encouraged to report to the Department of Health any unusual sickness among farmworkers.