January 24, 2018

Philippines to cull 200000 fowl after bird flu outbreak

12 August 2017, 08:58 | Silvia Roy

Chickens. AFP file

Chickens. AFP file

Global health experts are already monitoring the situation in the Philippines as bird flu also hit neighboring countries, including Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and China, the assistant secretary said.

The outbreak has killed 37,000 chickens, ducks and quails in six poultry farms in the town of San Luis, in Pampanga province, 50 kilometres north of Manila, Pinol said. "As of this time, there has been no report of bird-to-human contamination", he added.

"We are closely monitoring the situation in Pampanga following the confirmation of bird flu outbreak yesterday by the Department of Agriculture", Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

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A Reuters report on Friday quoted Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol as saying up to 400,000 birds would be culled to contain the outbreak.

Dr. Maramba already informed Mayor Belen Fernandez about the outbreak of avian flu in Pampanga so the local government can devise necessary measures to further ensure the safety of consumers in the city.

On Saturday, authorities began to cull an estimated 200,000 fowls in the affected area to prevent the spread of the Avian Influenza Type A Subtype H5, which hit San Luis.

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Abella said the DA is now coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH) to conduct avian flu and containment activities, including flu vaccinations and protective equipment for poultry handlers and reponders.

"Heightened surveillance for flu-like syndromes is now instituted in Pampanga within 7km radius of the affected farms", he added.

He assured the public, however, that "properly cooked chicken meat and eggs remain safe to eat" as the virus can only be transmitted through respiratory routes.

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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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