The Department of Agriculture (DA) has issued a temporary ban on poultry imports from the Czech Republic, where there is an outbreak of a highly pathogenic avian influenza: H5N8. In a memorandum issued by the Office of the Secretary, the DA has temporarily banned imports including domestic and wild birds, including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs, and semen.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar suspended the processing and evaluation and issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance for the commodities, Philippine Star reports. The DA veterinary quarantine officers will also stop and confiscate all poultry imports from the Czech Republic from all the major ports of entry in the Philippines.
The H5N8 is a highly pathogenic avian influenza. “Highly pathogenic” refers to the potential of the virus to kill the infected chicken. According to reports submitted to the World Organization for Animal Health, the H5N8 strain was detected in different parts of the Czech Republic, namely Dlouhalhota, Tabor, Jihocesky.
The World Organization For Animal Health does detailed monthly reports on the different highly pathogenic avian influenza worldwide. According to their February 2021 report, there were outbreaks in different parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe that were reported from January 15, 2021 to February 4, 2021, excluding the existing outbreaks reported before January 15. The Philippines is currently not part of the report.
Can the H5N8 virus impose risks to humans? According to the World Health Organization, the human infection with the H5N8 virus cannot be excluded, but the likelihood of risk is low.
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