HANOI (Reuters) – African swine fever has been detected in a farm in Haiphong in northern Vietnam, the third province in the Southeast Asian country to be hit by the virus, state media reported on Monday.

Pigs had been found dead at the farm and two of the five samples taken had tested positive to the highly contagious disease, according to a report in the Nong Nghiep Vietnam newspaper, run by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Authorities said last week that African swine fever had been detected on three farms in the Thai Binh and Hung Yen provinces, the first confirmed cases of the disease in the Southeast Asian country.

Authorities have culled all the pigs at the farm in Haiphong, the report said.

The disease, which is incurable in pigs but harmless to humans, has spread rapidly across neighboring China since August.

Pork accounts for three quarters of total meat consumption in Vietnam, a country of 95 million people where most of its 30 million farm-raised pigs are consumed domestically.

“Our first priority at the moment is to contain the disease from spreading,” Deputy Minister of Agriculture Phung Duc Tien was quoted as saying in the media report.

“If it spreads further, it will be very difficult to contain,” Tien said.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; editing by Richard Pullin and Shreejay Sinha

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