Besides Champhai, another region called Lunglei has also shown cases of infection, but the casualties are far less
More than 2,000 pigs have died over a period of two weeks in Mizoram’s Champhai district and its surrounding areas due to the outbreak of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), according to the state animal husbandry and veterinary department.
Besides the bordering district of Champhai, another region called Lunglei has also shown cases of infection, but the casualties are lesser, K Lalnghinglova, the departmental secretary, said.
While the exact cause of the spread of this disease is still being investigated, officials hinted at the imports from Myanmar since the maximum number of casualties have been reported from Champhai which lies on the Indo-Myanmar border.
“Mizoram had an outbreak of PRRS in 2013. Another possible reason is that those strains could have multiplied over a period of time,” Lalnghinglova added.
PRRS is caused by a virus belonging to the family of Arteriviridae in the genus Arterivirus in the order of Nidovirales. The virus is transmitted by close contact between pigs or by exposure to contaminated body fluids. PRRS has two overlapping clinical presentations as the name suggests—reproductive impairment and respiratory disease in pigs of any age.
The PRRS syndrome was first recognised in the United States in the mid 1980s and was called the “mystery swine disease” or the “blue ear disease”
India reported its first outbreak of PRRS in June 2013 in Aizwal, the capital of Mizoram
Mizoram has banned all imports and the borders have been closed to stop further transmission of the virus, he told Down To Earth.
“All the pigs in these areas are not infested. It is only that certain localities are hit and our doctors are working in these regions. The dead pigs are being buried and the infected ones are being treated with anti-biotics and vaccination is also going on. There is no culling happening right now.”
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