Piglet deaths “not from bird ‘flu’

PHUKET CITY: The deaths of 60 piglets on a single farm recently from respiratory infection were the result of hog cholera, not avian ‘flu, according to the island’s top livestock official. The Chief of the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office (PPLO), Sunart Wongchawalit, told the Gazette that the piglets died after contracting hog cholera, also known as swine ‘flu. The deaths occurred on a farm on Soi Honsaitong, off Sri Suthat Rd, in Tambon Rassada. “The owner, Winai Chaoyapraek, bought 30 pigs from a farm in Cherng Talay thinking they had already been immunized against the disease. “When the piglets fell ill, the owner called the PPLO for help in treating them. That’s when we diagnosed the piglets as suffering from hog cholera. They all died within a week from pneumonia. “After the first group of piglets died of cholera, K Winai got 30 more from the same farm. We told him to get cholera booster shots for the second lot of pigs, but he failed to do so, and those pigs died in the same way,” explained K. Sunart. “Hog cholera is very different from bird ‘flu. It can infect only pigs – not humans or birds,” he said. PPLO Vet Weerapap Termkietpaisarn told the Gazette he could confirm that the piglets had succumbed to cholera, because they had the classic symptoms of the disease, which are markedly different from those of the avian ‘flu. “Infection can be either through food or through respiration. Once infected, the pigs have difficulty breathing and develop characteristic bruises over their entire bodies. Finally, they go into spasm and die. It all takes less than a week,” he said. “Fortunately, all of the adult pigs on that farm and in the surrounding area have been immunized and are still healthy. “Pigs need to be immunized for the first time when they weigh just 10 kilograms. The owner of the farm in Cherng Talay admitted that he had had a problem with the refrigerator where the serum was stored, so he was unsure about the quality of the vaccine,” K. Weerapap added.

Phuket News
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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