A total of 1,360 pigs have died from the circovirus in Chin State’s Thantlang town since April, local officials said.
The pigs were killed by the Porcine Circovirus Type 2 (PCV2), for which there is a vaccine but no treatment.
“There are almost no pigs left in Thantlang,” Dr. Lian Bwi, who works in Thantlang’s livestock and veterinary department, told Khonumthung News. “The pigs died within one to two weeks last month. Pigs have also died this month,” he added.
PCV2 is spread from pig to pig, through contact with bodily fluids, and from pregnant sows to piglets in utero. Infected pigs suffer from swollen organs, lesions, jaundice and rapid weight loss, before dying.
The headman of Thantlang town’s Ward 1, Pu Nan Thlir, said that the loss of pigs has created economic hardships for locals who raise and sell them.
“It’s really difficult to buy pigs in Thantlang town. For example, we cannot buy pigs for wedding parties. We cannot buy pigs in villages, either. It’s impacting the economy of Thantlang. Some people don’t have any income [now],” Pu Nan Thlir told Khonumthung News.
Without a cure for PCV2, local authorities are taking preventative measures to stop the spread of the disease, separating pigs, restricting their transport, and cleaning farms.
Khonumthung News reported in June that nearly 200 pigs had been killed by PCV2 in two months. Two more months later, more than 1,100 additional pigs have died.
At that time, local authorities had launched an awareness campaign about the porcine circovirus, distributing leaflets around Thantlang and monitoring the transport of pigs out of the town.