MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Philippine Department of Agriculture confirmed this week that African swine fever (ASF) has been detected among swine herds in the Philippines, according to a Sept. 12 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The Philippine Department of Agriculture said 14 out of 20 samples submitted to the World Animal Health Reference Laboratory in the United Kingdom test positive for ASF.

ASF has been detected in more than 30 countries on three continents since the outbreak began in early 2018 in China. It is a highly contagious disease that is fatal to pigs but does not pose a risk to human health.

According to the Philippine Department of Agriculture, seven areas in two provinces in Luzon have been affected by ASF. It said a total of 7,416 pigs within the 1-kilometer radius of the affected areas in Rizal and Bulacan have been culled.

The agency noted that test results that will determine the strain and virulence of ASF are still pending.

“ASF has caused serious production and economic losses in the region, and its impact on the Philippines will depend on the government and private sector’s ability to limit its spread from the initially affected areas,” the USDA said.

The Philippine hog industry is valued at about $5 billion, has been growing by about 3% to 5% per year, and accounts for roughly half of the country’s total compound feed use, according to the USDA.