Bird flu

Misamis Oriental raises alert level over Central Luzon bird flu threat

Herbie Gomez
Misamis Oriental raises alert level over Central Luzon bird flu threat

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The last thing Misamis Oriental wants after the African swine fever infections is a bird flu outbreak, says Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano on Thursday, February 24, ordered tight quarantine measures in at least four towns over threats posed by bird flu cases in two Central Luzon provinces.

Emano sounded alarm bells, pointing out that the last thing the capitol wanted after the African swine fever (ASF) and the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the province was an outbreak of another disease.

The ASF hit Misamis Oriental in mid-2021, killing hogs and prompting the government to subject thousands of infected hogs to culling. It hit at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the government to impose strict health rules and quarantine restrictions.

Emano met the province’s veterinary and agriculture officials on Wednesday, February 23, as the capitol moved to impose strict quarantine measures in the towns of Magsaysay, Lugait, Opol, and Tagoloan.

Magsaysay is the last eastern town of Misamis Oriental in the east, near the Caraga region, while Lugait is a western municipality before Iligan City. Opol and Tagoloan are the first Misamis Oriental towns from Cagayan de Oro City.

Emano told Rappler the capitol would go strict on the entry of duck and quail eggs via the Laguindingan Airport in western Misamis Oriental and the province’s ports, especially those coming from Pampanga and Bulacan.

Early this week, the Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed that it has detected cases of avian influenza or bird flu at a duck farm in Bulacan, and quail farms in Pampanga.

Misamis Oriental provincial veterinarian Benjamin Resma told Magnum Radio that most of the duck eggs in the market in the province come from Central Luzon.

Resma also called on poultry owners, duck, and quail farms in the province to check their animals, and report to authorities in case they start seeing an unusual number of deaths.

The last time the country saw outbreaks of avian influenza infections was in 2017 and 2018.

Resma said local officials were trying to avoid bird flu infections in the province at a time when it has already been declared ASF-free and started to roll out a hog repopulation campaign in villages adversely affected by last year’s outbreak.– Rappler.com

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