Ghana has banned the movement of pigs and pig products in some parts of the Upper East Region (Province), as a result of outbreak of African swine fever, local media reported here Wednesday.

pigsPatrick Abakeh, Regional Veterinary Officer, was quoted as saying the disease had killed many pigs at Sirigu community and its environs in Paga in the Kassena Nankana West and Garu Districts.

Abakeh, who confirmed the outbreak in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga, said the disease did not affect human beings but warned that eating, touching, killing, and discarding the blood of infected animals openly could be points of contamination.

He said though the disease could be from neighboring Burkina Faso, confining the pigs was the only way to contain the spread of the swine fever.

Abakeh said collaborative efforts were ongoing with the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority to ensure that the disease did not spread, adding that farmers were being educated on the disease and the need for them to confine their pigs.

He said the disease was highly contagious and described the symptoms as loss of appetite, diarrhea, coloration of the skin, increased pulse, reddening of ears, tail, hind legs and death within three to 13 days with high mortality to 100 percent.

He said with the alarming infection and deaths, there was the need for sub-regional coordination to stamp out the disease, warning that pigs that survived the swine fever were lifelong carriers of the virus.

He asked the public to treat the menace with seriousness to help contain the spread of the disease. Enditem

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Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh