Bird flu: Philippines Detects Highly Infectious Virus

REPRESENTATIONAL

Amid the outbreak of coronavirus, the Philippines has detected an outbreak of avian flu (Bird flu) in a northern province after tests showed the presence of the highly infectious H5N6 subtype of the influenza A virus in a quail farm.

The bird flu virus, the same strain that hit some local poultry farms in 2017, was detected in Jaen municipality in Nueva Ecija province, where about 1,500 quails died on one farm alone. Reportedly, a total of 12,000 quails have been destroyed and buried to prevent further infections.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said “We are on top of the situation,” he said. “Surveillance around the 1km and 7km radius will be carried out immediately to ensure that the disease has not progressed around the said perimeter. Animal quarantine checkpoints have also been set up to restrict the movement of all live domestic birds to and from the quarantine area. We would like to emphasize that this is a single case affecting one quail farm only”.

Mr. Dar said his department and the local government has been jointly conducting an investigation and contact tracing to determine the source of the infection.

To ensure a steady domestic supply of poultry, the transport of day-old chicks, hatching eggs, and chicken meat will be allowed, provided the source farms have tested negative for bird flu, he added.

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