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Pig deaths reported in Kohima; ASF, CSF symptoms and prevention

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: May 20, 2022 2:20 am
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Citizens warned not to consume meat of dead or sick pigs

Veterinary field assistants and session speakers during the awareness camp on African swine fever and other pig diseases prevalent in Nagaland in Kohima on Thursday.

Our Correspondent
Kohima, May 19 (EMN): Days after African swine fever (ASF) prevalence was confirmed in Longleng district, prompting the authorities to ban slaughtering and sale of pigs, Kohima has also reported death of pigs from symptoms similar to the disease though its cause is yet to be confirmed.

Veterinary Surgeon at Veterinary Hospital Kohima, Dr. Elizabeth Yhome told Eastern Mirror that reports of pig deaths and illnesses have been received.

‘But since the owners used to inform late, blood samples could not be collected for laboratory tests earlier,’ she said.

Blood samples and required specimens from some sick pigs have been collected and sent for laboratory analysis outside the state and the result is awaited.

“We can’t say that we are having an ASF or Classical swine fever (CSF) because the report/results haven’t come out yet. At least right now in Kohima, we don’t have a laboratory confirming the death of either ASF or CSF.

 “Within one week, the report is expected to come out. But sometimes, the samples sent for testing get rejected for various reasons,” she informed.

There are numerous diseases in pigs and to differentiate those diseases is quite difficult unless a laboratory test is done. Further, collecting blood samples is not easy because many times owners of the pigs do not report it, said the doctor.

‘The majority still has not come up to that scientific level of understanding that one should not consume meat of any sick animals. Instead, many cases of dead pigs go unreported because pork is precious for us Nagas and we normally don’t bury the pig but slaughter for consumption,’ she said, adding that such meat even goes to the local market at times.

‘Forget about consuming, one should not even open the carcass of any sick animal. Because, if it is a viral infection, it would be dangerous and can spread and human beings can become the carrier of the disease,’ she warned. 

The veterinary surgeon asserted the need for creating awareness about animal diseases among the public.

‘As of now, the outbreak of ASF has been confirmed in Longleng and laboratory reports of samples collected from Mokokchung came out negative. Dimapur is also yet to be confirmed of any positive cases and so is Kohima for now,’ she informed.

Classical swine fever is suspected to be prevalent as symptoms reported by owners are similar but it cannot be confirmed till lab results are out.

CSF symptoms and prevention

Speaking further on CSF fever in pigs, she said that it is a highly contagious disease affecting swine of all age groups. It is a very common viral disease of pigs caused by an RNA virus.

The CSF is transmitted in various ways- pig gets infected either by direct contact with infected pigs or by contaminated feed, garbage, water, faeces, flies, infected discharge, animal attendant’s shoe, clothes, feeder, and containers.

Some of the CSF symptoms include high body temperature, off-feed, and lethargy, eyelids are closed with discharges, coughing and sneezing and nasal discharges, constipation followed by severe diarrhea, red patches are seen on the ear, tail, abdomen, and inner part of the thigh, etc.

For prevention of CSF among pigs, she advised the owners to vaccinate piglets above three months, followed by revaccination every month. Always purchase piglets from a disease-free stock and well reliable source. The pigsty should be always kept clean, dry, and airy, and maintain good drainage outside the pigsty.

Owners should avoid feeding pigs with hotel waste and feeder troughs should be cleaned daily. Remove leftover feeds and water in the evening and provide sufficient clean water daily. Isolate sick pigs from healthy ones and deworm them every three month with proper dosage, she advised.

Proper disposal of a dead pig by deep burial method and waste products of the pig house should be disposed of at least some distance away. The attendants should follow hygiene measures i.e. wear clean clothes and closed shoes, avoid chewing tobacco products and drinks, and must be healthy.

‘If at any point of time the pigs are not feeling well and showing symptoms like off feed, weak, feverish, reddish skin, constipation, diarrhea, eye/nasal discharges etc.,  owners should immediately report it to the nearest veterinary health centre or consult a veterinary doctor; the pig needs medical intervention,’ she said.

Earlier during the day, the Chief Veterinary Office under the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services conducted an awareness camp on ASF and other pig diseases prevalent in Nagaland on Thursday at CVO conference hall, Kohima.

The technical sessions were conducted by Dr. Vikuolie Mezhatsu, VAS; Dr. Elizabeth Yhome Veterinary Surgeon; Dr. Atouzo Pienyu, VAS; and Dr. Khriesamhazo Rhetso, VAS; while Dr. Akangnungla, DDDO, chaired the programme and Dr. Rokozo Dolie, CVO Kohima, delivered the keynote address.

A total of 37 veterinary field assistants from Kohima district attended the programme.

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: May 20, 2022 2:20:59 am