HANOI, VIETNAM — African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread rapidly through Vietnam, despite continuing efforts by the Vietnamese government to limit the impact, according to a June 26 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The disease, which was first detected in Vietnam in February after having spread from China, has spread to 58 out of 63 municipalities and provinces across the country with 2.6 million pigs depopulated, which is equal to nearly 10% of Vietnam’s total swine production, according to the USDA.

Not all the depopulated pigs were infected, but any herds surrounding ASF-infected pigs are culled, the USDA said.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development MARD estimated ASF damage at $154.8 million.

MARD Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said in May that Vietnam “has never faced such a dangerous, complicated, difficult and expensive epidemic in its livestock production industry as ASF.”

“ASF’s medium and long-term economic and social impacts will depend on the severity of the epidemic, the policy response and Vietnam’s animal control capacity,” the USDA said. “Although there is no human health risk, ASF is already influencing consumer purchasing behavior. Given the complexity of the ASF situation, it may take a significant amount of time before Vietnam can control the disease and fully repopulate its swine herds.”

African swine fever kills pigs and has no treatment or vaccine, though clinical trials to develop a vaccine are ongoing.

Besides China and Vietnam, other countries to report the disease are Poland, South Africa, North Korea, Mongolia and Cambodia.