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Nov 15, 2000

BAHA monitors swine fever outbreak in Guatemala

In related agricultural news, BAHA is on the alert for any reports of Classical Swine Fever in Belize. Symptoms of the virus include vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, skin discoloration, in-coordination and coughing. The pigs also tend to huddle together and die within five to fifteen days of illness. The disease has been reported in Libertad, a Guatemalan village close to Flores, and as a result officials are prohibiting the importation of live pigs and cured pig meat from Guatemala. According to BAHA, Belize has not been in contact with the virus since 1988 and is currently in the process of declaring Belize free of the disease. To ensure this, a programme is in place, which has tested over three thousand pigs, and all have been showing negative results. The virus is spread by direct contact between the animals, farm visitors and pig traders. Farmers seeing any of the symptoms are asked to immediately call BAHA or the Ministry of Agriculture throughout Belize or at telephone number 014-2199.

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