PSA: Hold The Fried Chicken! The Bird Flu Is Back, More Cases Raise Total To 77
Lent just ended but you may have to stick to your pre-Easter eating habits or fish and veggies if you're concerned about pork's high prices and the bird flu.
According to the CNN Philippines news report, Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan said during an interview on its show "Newsroom Ngayon" that the bird flu was back in the country by the Bureau of Animal Industry.
The strain found in the infected birds is particularly alarming because according to a news report by the Inquirer last March 29, DA Secretary Willam Dar said, "The avian influenza virus detected is of subtype H5N1, which is also a threat to human health. This is the very reason we have to double our efforts in controlling and containing bird flu." He also said, "We assure the general public that the risk to catch H5N1 virus is very low. Poultry meat and its products are safe to eat."
A circular issued last April 7 by the DA sought to address the spread of avian influenza among all poultry, including chickens, ducks, and quails in the country by banning the transport and movement of live poultry and its products for 30 days with exceptions.
As early as February 2022, the DA reported that the agency together with local government units (LGUs) have been working to contain the spread of the bird flu in Bulacan and Pampanga where the first three cases were reported. The report also said the bird flu is currently found to be affecting poultry are now in several provinces in Luzon and Mindanao, namely Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bataan, Laguna, Camarines Sur, Sultan Kudarat, Benguet, North Cotabato, and Davao del Sur.
Cayanan said that this latest outbreak is likely influenced by the migratory nature of birds. "Ayon sa pananaliksik ng mga dalubhasa sa Bureau of Animal Industry, ang possible source ng infection ay ang pagkakaroon ng presensiya ng migratory birds. [According to experts from the Bureau of Animal Industry, the possible source of the bird flu infection is the presence of migratory birds.]"
According to the DA, the bird flu alert has been raised in over 31 countries, including the Philippines. The last time the bird flu outbreak was in the country was in 2017.
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