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    as of 6/29/2009

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    No swine flu in Cordi


    AMID threats of the dreaded swine flu virus, a veterinarian said there is no cause for alarm since the Cordillera region remains free from the disease.

    Dr. Anthony Bantog, head of the Department of Agriculture-Livestock Division, said the region remains swine-flu free, adding that this disease is not common in the region.

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    Bantog was referring to the virus that infects hogs and not the swine flu that is popularly used to refer to the influenza A (H1N1) virus.

    He said there have been no cases of swine flu recorded in the region so far. What is common to the Cordillera, he said, is hog cholera.

    Swine flu has the symptoms of fever, sneezing, coughing, difficulty in breathing, and decreased appetite among the affected hogs.

    Currently, the hog population is pegged at 40,000. Bantog said this number declined from 45,000 last year due to the diseases that struck the industry.

    One of the fatal diseases that hit the hog industry is the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PPRS), which also led to the decline in the population of swine in the region.

    Once struck, the mortality rate among the hogs affected by PPRS ranges from 20 to 70 percent, Bantog said.

    Baguio and the towns of Tuba, Mankayan, Bokod, and La Trinidad were affected by the PPRS.