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DA confirms 'isolated' ASF case in Caraga

November 21, 2020 - Saturday 4:11 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image FIRST ASF CASE. DA-13 executive director Abel James Monteagudo of DA-13 confirms Friday (Nov. 20, 2020) the first African swine flu case in Caraga, although he says it was immediately contained. The case was discovered in Barangay Matho, Cortes, Surigao del Sur, leading to the culling of several hogs. (PNA photo by Alexander Lopez)

BUTUAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture in Caraga Region (DA-13) confirmed an "isolated" case of African swine fever (ASF) in the Surigao del Sur town of Cortes, which the agency said was "immediately contained.
DA-13 executive director Abel James Monteagudo said Friday the first ASF case in Barangay Matho, Cortes has been put under control through a coordinated effort with the local government and the members of the Regional ASF Task Force.

“We immediately responded to manage, contain, and control the spread of the disease,” Monteagudo said.

Dr. Apple Jarumahum, DA-13 ASF focal person, said the regional task force has cleared the area considered ground zero up to a .5-kilometer-radius.

“As of Thursday, the task force and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) has already cleared from ASF Barangay Matho, which is the ground zero and within the .5-kilometer radius,” Jarumahum told the Philippine News Agency.

Jarumahum assured the task force would continue its investigation and clearing activities in the different areas in Cortes.

There are no figures yet as to the number of hog fatalities but authorities had culled several hogs with ASF symptoms at the ground zero and within the 500 meter-radius, she added.

She said the task force has also confirmed that the cause of ASF contamination in ground zero is processed pork products.

“It’s the unregulated selling of processed food products made from pork that caused ASF contamination in the area,” Jarumahum said, adding the task force has yet to determine the source of the processed food.

However, Jarumahum pointed out that the nearest areas in Caraga with confirmed ASF cases are Tagum City in the Davao Region and Iligan City in Lanao del Norte.

Monteagudo also called on Caraga residents to raise their awareness about ASF and help authorities prevent its spread in the region.

“The Department of Agriculture urges fellow Caraganons to help in keeping the region ASF-free by following the recommended biodiversity measures such as the establishment of footbaths in every backyard piggery, avoid swill feeding, and avoid bringing meat and meat products from contaminated areas,” Monteagudo said. (PNA)