BANGKOK – Thailand Division of Disease Control (DDC) with the Ministry of Health (MOH) is warning the public against eating pork that isn’t properly cooked due to the risk of Streptococcus suis infection.
According to Outbreak News, during the first three months of 2019, health officials have reported fifty Streptococcus suis infections, including 10 fatalities.
The risk to the community is raw pork dishes mixed with raw pigs blood like spicy minced pork and spicy blood pork soup.
Human Streptococcus suis infection is a zoonotic infection associated with pigs. The infection can be fatal, particularly if the specific strain produces certain toxins. Streptococcus suis infection can manifest itself in meningitis, hearing impairment, toxic shock, septicemia and endocarditis.
It can be contracted either through ingesting raw pork or if it comes in contact with an open wound or mucous membrane.
To prevent the disease, members of the public are advised to always practice personal and environmental hygiene. They should avoid contact with pigs that are sick or dead from diseases and their excreta or body fluid.
If contact with pigs or raw pork is necessary, one should: Use protective gloves; Wash hands after handling pigs or raw pork; and Clean and cover all wounds properly.
In 2018, Thailand reported 338 cases and 29 deaths.
Meanwhile, officials along Thailand’s borders with Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia are on alert for the deadly African Swine Fever (ASF) following its recent outbreak in three countries, said Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Luck Wajananawat.
People at the border should not bring in or cook food from Cambodia’s pig products while officials at the checkpoints should confiscate suspicious pig products brought along by travellers.
Retail pig raisers along the Thai-Cambodia border were briefed at the meeting by Mr Jirasak on the current situation of ASF and on how they should save themselves from the disease.