Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Jamaica prepared for pig disease threat

Published:Wednesday | October 1, 2014 | 6:40 PM

The Agriculture Ministry says Jamaica is prepared for an outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhoea which affects pigs.

The disease has already been detected in North America.

According to the Ministry, the situation is not being taken lightly and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, has been working with pig farmers islandwide to protect the local industry.

However, he says the disease has not been detected in Jamaica.

The chief veterinary officer of the Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr Osbil Watson, says since the outbreak of the disease in January 2014, the Ministry, has implemented several preventive measures.

He is urging farmers to increase biosecurity on their farms, improving their sanitation hygiene, and to prevent the entry of visitors on their farms.

Porcine epidemic diarrhoea is a viral disease of swine caused by the coronavirus and is characterised by watery diarrhoea and emaciation.

Mortality in piglets older than 10 days is less than 10 per cent, but may reach 100 per cent in piglets less than one week old, due primarily to diarrhoea and dehydration.

Older pigs recover in about a week, but reinfection may occur in five months.

The Ministry says the disease is highly contagious in pigs.

Porcine epidemic diarrhoea was first reported in the United Kingdom in 1971, and the causative agent was initially isolated in 1988.

It is not a not a human health or food safety concern.


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