PRRS Kills 700 Pigs in Central Luzon

PHILIPPINES - Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) has been blamed for the deaths of more than 700 pigs in 15 towns of Pampanga province in the Central Luzon region.
calendar icon 24 June 2009
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Some 60 barangays districts in 15 towns of Pampanga were affected by the Porcine Reproductive Syndrome (PRRS) virus that killed at least 700 pigs out of the 3,138 animals in the province and affected 170 farmers, according to Business Mirror.

Dr Augusto Baluyut of the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) said the PRRS-affected towns are San Luis, Porac, Lubao, Guagua, San Fernando, Santa Ana, Bacolor, San Simon, Minalin, Sasmuan, Mexico, Santa Rita, Santo Tomas, Apalit and Arayat.

However, Dr Baluyut said, as of now the PRRS virus is only active in Guagua and Santa Rita, as the PVO has already neutralised its occurrence in the other towns.

Dr Baluyut shared that the PRRS cases emanated from the two piglets a mattress vendor bought from San Pablo Propio in San Simon. The mattress vendor sold his product in Pangasinan province in exchange for the two piglets.

He added that his office has conducted massive PRRS vaccination on 10,000 pigs and disinfection of PRRS-affected piggeries.

The PVO also collected blood samples from infected pigs which were brought to the Department of Agriculture's laboratory and where the samples were found to have the PRRS virus.

Business Mirror reports that a virus first isolated and classified as an arterivirus in 1991 causes PRRS. The disease was first recognised in the US in the mid-1980s and was called the mystery swine disease or blue ear disease. The virus spreads via a pig's nasal secretions, saliva, faeces and urine. Field studies suggest it can be airborne for up to three kilometers. An infected pig that survives for three months is considered a carrier of the virus. Other pigs may survive longer than three months, although the animal may not be shedding the virus.

Artificial insemination can be a potential means of spreading the virus, if semen from an animal whose blood carries the virus particularly during the first three- to four-week period following the breakdown of the stud. Outside this period field evidence indicates the risk of spread in semen is very low from previously infected groups of boars. Adult animals excrete the virus for much shorter periods of time—14 days—compared with growing pigs, which can excrete for one to two months. PRRSV may infect foetuses from mid-pregnancy onward and is excreted in the pig's salvia, colostrum and milk.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on PRRS by clicking here.
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