Newcastle disease hits 14 towns in I. Norte

LAOAG CITY – At least 14 municipalities in the province of Ilocos Norte are now affected by the Newcastle disease virus, the Department of Agriculture, Ilocos regional office reported.

The DA report said at least 65 municipalities in the entire Ilocos region had recorded some 100,000 deaths of chickens due to the Newcastle virus.

Dr. Annie Bares said that contrary to allegation, NCD has not affected major livestock raisers since they have a ready supply of vaccines to prevent the spread of the disease.

“We are now controlling the new cases at the moment and we have already distributed to local government units a total of 206,000 doses of NCD vaccines.” Bares said.

She added that government livestock inspectors are helping the LGUs on how to handle the cases of afflicted chickens.

She said that NCD virus spreads when extreme weather condition impairs an animal’s immune system.

Symptoms of the disease include colds, paralysis, circling and weakness.

Bares noted a slight decrease of native chicken supply in the local market and also a slight increase in prices. (tsg)