CAPIZ, Philippines – The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) – Veterinary Laboratory Division announced on Saturday, November 3 that a poultry serum and oropharyngeal swab sample from Barangay Cagay, Roxas City was found positive for influenza virus type A (IVA) subtype H5N1.
The news shook the farm and food sector in this Western Visayas province still reeling from setbacks brought by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng and red tide infestation. Capiz is also trying to stave off the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) from Iloilo.
The Iloilo Provincial Government is set to issue an advisory temporarily banning the entry of all domestic and captured wild (ornamental) birds, poultry products, and byproducts from the province of Capiz from Dec. 3 to 13, 2022.
Executive Order No. 572-2022 was signed by Provincial administrator/OIC governor Dennis Ventilacion on behalf of Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor Jr who was on leave.
The BAI on December 2 said Laboratory Result No. 4849-01 showed the poultry serum and oropharyngeal swab samples from Barangay Cagay were positive for the influenza virus type A subtype H5N1.
A briefing paper by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that all known subtypes of influenza A viruses can infect birds. However, only two influenza A virus subtypes – A(H1N1)pdm09, and A(H3N2) – are currently circulating among people.
The strain found in Capiz was found in January 2022 in Bulacan and Pampanga, leading to wide-scale culling in poultry farms.
Nearby Aklan province is expected to take the same precautions as Iloilo.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said it has still not lifted the declaration that the sea waters of Capiz are still positive for red tide toxins.
For several years, the Capiz province has been known as a seafood basket of the Philippines. – Rappler.com