Laos confirms first cases of African swine fever

Public health banners alerting the public about swine fever is seen in Chiang Rai, Thailand, on May 16, 2019. Chiang Rai lies on the Thai side of the Golden Triangle, a triple border between Thailand, Myanmar and Laos separated by the Mekong river.
Public health banners alerting the public about swine fever is seen in Chiang Rai, Thailand, on May 16, 2019. Chiang Rai lies on the Thai side of the Golden Triangle, a triple border between Thailand, Myanmar and Laos separated by the Mekong river.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (REUTERS) - Laos has reported its first cases of African swine fever (ASF), confirming outbreaks in the southern province of Saravane, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Thursday (June 20).

The South-east Asian country reported seven outbreaks of ASF in villages in Saravane, which led to the deaths of 973 animals, the OIE said on its website, citing information from Laos' agriculture ministry.

The disease, which is incurable in pigs but harmless to humans, has spread rapidly across China since last August and also spread this year in Vietnam.

(This story is developing.)