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DA probes reported swine flu 'outbreak' in N. Ecija

Agriculture officials have resumed close monitoring of hog farms in Central Luzon following reports of an outbreak of swine flu in Nueva Ecija province. Davinio Catbagan, officer-in-charge of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), urged hog raisers Monday to quarantine for five to seven days hogs that they believe may have contracted the disease. "The mortality rate is less than 10 percent for swine flu alone, provided there are no complications like hog cholera. Infected animals should recover in five to seven days," Catbagan said in Filipino during an interview on dzBB radio. He said that while the mortality rate of swine flu alone is relatively low, it is contagious and may spread to other animals if infected animals are not quarantined. Catbagan said swine traders and animal caretakers should take bio-security measures such as footbaths and spraying their farms. Even dogs and other animals should be kept away from infected animals. Those that may be infected should be similarly quarantined for five to seven days, he said. However, Catbagan said monitoring teams sent to the field so far have yet to confirm cases of swine flu. "There were no mortalities as reported, but we'll keep tabs on reports of such incidents," he said. - GMANews.TV