DA confirms bird flu outbreak in Pampanga

Jee Y. Geronimo

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DA confirms bird flu outbreak in Pampanga
(UPDATED) Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol says around 200,000 birds will be culled to contain the outbreak

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Friday, August 11, confirmed the avian influenza or bird flu outbreak in Pampanga

“We are officially confirming the outbreak of avian influenza type A subtype H5 in the town of San Luis, Pampanga,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol told reporters in a press briefing on Friday. 

According to the DA, this type of avian influenza can cause illness and deaths to both animals and humans. 

Piñol said around 37,000 birds from 6 poultry farms already died as of posting. Three of these poultry farms reported 100% mortality. 

“At present, there are still reported and maybe unreported poultry mortalities in the area,” the secretary added. 

Piñol said mortalities of poultry started in the last week of April 2017, with cases of quails and ducks, followed by outbreaks in layer chickens located in adjacent barangays in May 2017.

Samples that were sent for laboratory tests were found to be negative for other avian respiratory diseases with similar symptoms. 

In response to the outbreak, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) already put up 1-kilometer (km) quarantine zone and 7-km zone for surveillance. 

Piñol said an estimated population of 200,000 birds within the 1-km radius will be culled and buried in the next 3 days.

There will also be no movement of birds, eggs, or other poultry products within the 7-km radius. 

“We just would like to assure the public as of the moment, the cases of avian influenza while confirmed are still confined within the town of San Luis, Pampanga. We have instituted measures to prevent the possible spread of the virus,” he said.

The BAI is already in the process of sending samples for further testing to the Australian Animal Health Laboratory, a World Organization for Animal reference laboratory for avian influenza. 

Piñol also ordered a ban on the shipment of birds from Luzon to other parts of the country. Below is a copy of the BAI memorandum circular that temporarily bans the movement of live domestic and wild birds and their products:


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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.