Philippines reports first outbreak of bird flu

Philippines reports first outbreak of bird flu

Philippines reports first outbreak of bird flu

MALACANANG on Saturday urged the public to be watchful and prepare to tackle any signs of bird flu infection in humans.

Monitoring of the markets in Dagupan was intensified since Friday night following the reported outbreak of avian influenza or bird flu in San Luis, Pampanga where some 38,000 chickens from various poultry farms already died and 500,000 more were to be mass slaughtered in a bid to control the outbreak.

He said he has informed President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Health and will report the outbreak to the World Organization for Animal Health.

"We are closely monitoring the situation in Pampanga following the confirmation of avian flu outbreak yesterday by the Department of Agriculture".

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"We ask our people to remain calm yet vigilant", he added.

No transmission to humans has so far been reported, according to Agriculture Secretary, Emmanuel Pinol. Experts are studying whether migratory birds that visit the province were responsible for bringing Avian Flu to poultry and duck farms in nearby San Luis town.

He said the Agriculture department will cull about 200,000 fowls following the first avian flu outbreak.

Abella said the health department is helping DA in its "avian flu investigation and containment activities" which include providing flu vaccinations and protective equipment for poultry handlers and responders.

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Heightened surveillance for flu-like syndromes has been instituted within a seven-kilometer radius of the affected farm, he said.

Abella advised residents near the affected areas showing symptoms of flu to immediately go to their local health center or nearest thospital for laboratory tests.

He said that Dagupan is consuming thousands of heads of dressed chicken daily, sourced from the Malimgas Public Market, the privately-owned CentroMart and meat shops of various malls in the city.

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