Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A serious outbreak of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) has occurred in Mandalay, the second largest city in Burma.
The disease is a virus specific to pigs or porcine species. It doesn’t usually infect humans, although it has happened in the past on some occasions.
In at least three townships in Mandalay Division, pigs have exhibited symptoms and died since February 15, authorities said.
As of March 4, 559 pigs were diagnosed with PRRS and 210 of them died, the Mandalay Division Health Department (MDHD) told Mizzima.
The World Organisation for Animal Health also confirmed that a PRRS outbreak has occurred in Burma.
This is reportedly the first case of PRRS infection in Burma. The outbreak occurred in Aungmyaythasan, Chanayethasan, Mahaaungmyay, Chanmyathasan, Pyigyitagun, Amarapura and Madaya townships in Mandalay Division and Sagaing in Sagaing Division, according to a MDHD spokesperson.
Currently, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries is inspecting pig farms and preparing to combat the outbreak of the syndrome, said a spokesperson at the Mandalay Division Husbandry and Veterinary Department.
After news of the outbreak began to spread, most residents in Mandalay have stopped eating pork, according to local residents.
‘Some infected pigs died because of the disease, and then some pork butchers reportedly sold the meat at low prices. But now, after many pigs have died because of the syndrome, people aren’t eating pork’, a resident told Mizzima.
A resident in Pyigyitagun Township told Mizzima, ‘The pigs swayed as they walked. Their skin turned dark. Then, they died. Some people threw the dead bodies of the pigs on the side of the streets’.