Correspondent, Assam Tribune

Virus attack kills 1,473 pigs in MizoramAIZAWL, May 2: The third outbreak of Porcine Reproductive & Respiratory Syndrome (PRSS) in Mizoram has killed at least 1,473 pigs, while the virus has spread to 91 villages. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary officials said that the PRRS outbreak was first detected in Champhai district bordering Myanmar when some pigs died on March 16. The cause of death was confirmed to be PRRS on March 21. Since then, the death of at least 1,473 pigs has been reported from different districts, the Joint Director (Livestock Health) of the State Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department, Dr Hmarkunga, said. He, however, added that all the pig deaths have not been caused by PRRS alone, but also by classical swine fever (CSF). He said teams of veterinary doctors have been sent to the affected areas to take stock of the situation. Prohibition has been imposed on the import of pigs from Myanmar and export of the animals from the affected districts. 

The department is taking steps to contain the virus. Officials said the virus has not spread further. They added that over 3,185 pigs and piglets have so far been infected with PRRS and CSF in different parts of the State. The outbreak has hit pork markets in Aizawl as many families have refrained from buying the meat. Pork is a favourite among indigenous Mizos. PRRS had also hit Mizoram in 2013 and 2016. More than 3,000 pigs and piglets died in 2013 and over 4,000 pigs were culled after the outbreak in 2016. PRRS is caused by a virus known as arterivirus, which can propagate through respiration, intercourse and artificial insemination. Drugs to prevent secondary bacterial infection were administered to the sick swine, officials said.

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