Over 2,800 pigs have died in the district due to African swine fever, incurring a loss of over Rs 62 million, said the Veterinary Hospital and Livestock Services Expert Centre, Bharatpur.

The fever has spread in four local levels, Bharatpur Metropolitan City-3, Ratnanagar and Khairahani municipalities and Ichhakamana Rural Municipality, killing at least 2,873 pigs kept in the total 12 pig farms (three in Bharatpur metropolis-3, four in Ratnanagar, three in Ichhakamana and two in Khairahani), said Dr Prabhat Neupane, information officer for the Centre.

Of the dead pigs, 1,916 are adult, and 957 piglets, he said. The contagious viral disease spreads in domestic and wild pigs. Its mortality rate can reach 100 percent.

Having detected also eight months ago, the disease was reportedly confirmed on 16 May, 2022.

The disease is transmitted due to direct contact between infected pigs, from the contaminated saliva, droppings, blood, flesh and feed of the diseased pig, while transporting and moving the sick pigs and use of the clothes, shoes and slippers worn by the person who has entered the pig sty, among other means, Information Officer Neupane said.

The Centre said the infected pigs show symptoms as huddling at one place, blue rashes, patches like blood clots on the ear top, frothing from the nose, high fever (104 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit), and pinkish rashes on the outer skin of ear, tail and belly. Similarly, the infected pigs do not eat the feed, vomit, show signs of restlessness and give still births.

The Office has advised adoption of bio safety measures in the pig pen and keeping any new pig bought from other herd in quarantine for 21 days before mixing it up with the farm herd for the prevention of the disease.

It also advised disinfecting the pig pen, farm and its surroundings by spraying lime, phenyl, formalin, and bleaching powder.