MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) Bureau of Animal Industry has confirmed cases of avian influenza subtype H5 affecting poultry and livestock in some municipalities in Pampanga, thereby declaring an avian flu outbreak.
In a press conference this afternoon, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said samples taken from a farm in Pampanga showed positive result of the disease, based on the test conducted by the Animal Disease Diagnosis and Reference Laboratory.
Such H5 strain of the influenza virus in fowls can cause illness and death to both animals and humans.
As a response, the Agriculture Department has implemented measures to control the spread of avian influenza.
“Cases of avian influenza are confirmed. They are still confined with the town of San Luis Pampanga. We have instituted measures to prevent the possible spread of virus,” Secretary Piñol said.
Also, the department has put up one kilometer quarantine zone and seven kilometer control zone from the affected town of San Luis, for surveillance.
They also placed 12 quarantine checkpoints within 1 kilometer radius to check incoming and outgoing vehicles transporting livestock and poultry to the province.
“We have declared ban on the shipment of fowls from Luzon to other parts of the country,” said the Agriculture Secretary.
The Bureau of Animal Industry is also processing the samples that will be sent to the World Organization for Animal Health for further testing.
The DA assured the public that the situation is under control and that it is still safe to eat cooked poultry, and its byproducts.
“The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry is not unprepared for this crisis. We have long prepared for this,” said Piñol. “This is not something that should cause us panic.” — Joyce Balancio | UNTV News & Rescue
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