Bird flu

Philippines now free of bird flu

Ralf Rivas

Photo from Shutterstock

The Department of Agriculture says the country is free of the avian influenza strain that can infect humans

The Department of Agriculture (DA) declared that the Philippines is now free of the avian influenza virus or bird flu, almost a year after the virus reemerged in parts of Luzon.

The DA said that as of January 8, the World Organisation for Animal Health said the country was free of the A(H5N6) strain of avian influenza.

“The country was able to resolve the outbreaks of AI A(H5N6) in a commercial layer poultry farm in Pampanga, and backyard poultry farms in a village in Rizal, in less than a year after the poultry virus reemerged in the country,” the DA said.

The particular strain, which can sometimes infect humans, was detected on July 10, 2020, after an owner of a commercial layer farm in Pampanga notified the provincial veterinary office about the sudden drop in egg production, cyanosis (dark bluish or purplish coloration of the skin and mucous membranes in chickens), and mortalities. (READ: 6 tips from DOH on how to be safe from bird flu)

Another case was detected in Rizal, as reported by a farmer on August 26, 2020, to the municipal veterinary office of Taytay.

The DA said farmers were quick to implement sanitary control and containment operations to prevent the further spread of the virus. 

The Philippines had similar outbreaks in 2017 and in 2018. – Rappler.com

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.