China has rushed a first batch of vaccine to the southwestern province of Sichuan, where a pig-borne disease has killed at least 34 people.

The Xinhua news agency reports that enough vaccine to treat Streptococcus suis bacteria in 350,000 pigs has been flown to the province. Another 10 million doses are being manufactured and will be sent to affected areas.

Health authorities have identified 174 human cases - either confirmed or suspected - of the illness as of Saturday.

Most victims had handled either infected pigs or pork. China says no human-to-human transmission of the ailment has been seen.

Two cases have been reported in Hong Kong, adjacent to Guangdong, but they are believed to be unrelated to the Sichuan outbreak.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.