African swine fever not a threat to human health: DOH

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reiterated that African swine fever (ASF) is not a risk to human health as it allayed public fears amid recent confirmation from the Department of Agriculture (DA) that some processed pork products in the country have tested positive for ASF.

“We want to emphasize again to the consuming public that ASF is not a threat to human health. Processed meat products are still safe for consumption,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

Duque, however, advised consumers to purchase pork products from reliable sources and cook the meat thoroughly.

“We want to dispel the fears of consumers by reiterating that, as long as pork and pork products are bought from reliable sources and are cooked thoroughly, pork meat and products are safe to eat,” he said.

READ: Dar orders stricter biosecurity measures vs. ASF

The DA earlier confirmed that samples taken from processed pork products, such as hotdog, longganisa, and tocino, coming from a Manila-based company have tested positive for the ASF virus.

The World Organization for Animal Health classified ASF as a severe and highly contagious viral disease among domestic and wild pigs only.

Hogs infected with the ASF virus experience high fever; depression; loss of appetite; redness of ears, abdomen, and legs; vomiting; and diarrhea that may lead to death. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora/PNA-