In Leyte, bird flu traced to wild fowls

In Leyte, bird flu traced to wild fowls

A village treasurer dies while another one hurt in a Leyte town gun attack

Leyte map. FILES

The Philippines’ battle against bird flu took a step back after logging an outbreak of avian influenza affecting thousands of chickens and ducks in a poultry farm in Leyte province.

In a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (Woah), the country said highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5N1 infected a farm at Barangay Naghalin in Kananga town.


READ: Sultan Kudarat is now bird flu-free, says DA


“The affected farm is surrounded by rice field paddies and a river which are frequented by wild waterfowls,” the report said.

“These free-flying wild birds could have introduced the virus via their droppings, as the first building to be affected was at the back of the farm nearest to the rice paddies,” it added.

The report said 4,480 cases of avian influenza had been recorded in the area, as confirmed by laboratory test results on March 19. The disease killed 4,475 chickens, ducks and quail as of Thursday while 56,054 others had been culled.

READ: Texas, CDC say bird flu detected in person exposed to dairy cattle

The outbreak was first recorded on March 7.

The report also noted that control measures including movement control, disinfection and destruction of animal products and disposal of carcasses, byproducts and waste had been applied while surveillance within and outside the restricted zone would be carried out.


No cases

Despite the prevalence of avian influenza in the country, 16 provinces remain free of the animal disease, it said.

These are Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Benguet, Isabela, Aurora, Rizal, Batangas, Quezon, Camarines Sur, Capiz, South Cotabato, Cotabato, Maguindanao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur.

Woah’s terrestrial animal health code states that a previously free country or zone may regain its avian influenza-free status at least 28 days after completing a stamping-out policy and disinfecting the last affected establishment, and that ensuing surveillance demonstrated the absence of infection.

The Bureau of Animal Industry, in its latest report on March 26, indicated that the bird flu had affected duck, quail, chicken and broiler breeder chicken in the provinces of Pampanga, Kalinga and Leyte.

“We still have cases but they are immediately contained so it doesn’t have a big impact, and our meat production level is still good,” Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said during the government’s “Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon” television program on Friday.

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Last month, the DA temporarily banned the entry of poultry imports from Iowa and Minnesota in the United States as well as from Sweden and the Czech Republic in Europe to avert the spread of avian influenza.

TAGS: Bird flu, Leyte

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