GUANGZHOU -- Chinese epidemiologists have discovered that a mysterious pig
epidemic spreading throughout south China's Guangdong province is an outbreak of
an infectious disease commonly known as "blue ear disease".
The disease was first found in Silao town of Yunfu city at the end of April,
after pigs stopped eating, developed fevers and started hemorrhaging. More than
300 pigs died.
The "blue ear disease" spread to China in the middle 1990s and the recent
outbreak in Guangdong was caused by a deadly mutation of the virus. China has
already developed effective vaccines for the disease and they will be used in
Guangdong soon, said the provincial agriculture department.
According to Yunfu government, the infected pigs were raised by individual
rural households rather than industrialized pig farms and were not exported to
Hong Kong or overseas markets.
Major roads in and out of the town have been sterilized and the sale of pigs
in the infected area has been banned.