09 March 1999
Malaysia struggles with pig disease

AN outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in Malaysia, thought to have killed 28 people, has forced the health ministry to vaccinate 2.4 million pigs.

Fears of contracting the virus, which is carried by pigs and spread to humans via mosquitoes, has sent domestic pork sales plunging 40% since the outbreak began.

The authorities have ordered thousands of pigs to be killed in the affected area.

The health ministry has vaccinated 57,000 people and sprayed farms to kill the mosquitoes but the virus has persisted.

The outbreak is forecast to have cost pig farm owners M$ 100m (£16.4m) and threatens serious knock-on effects on pig-feed manufacturers and butcheries.

  • Financial Times 09/03/99 page 10