DOH: Observe proper sanitation to prevent bird flu contamination
The Department of Health (DOH) reminded the public on Saturday to observe proper sanitation when preparing and cooking poultry as bird flu virus infected hundreds of thousands of fowls in Pampanga.
“We understand the anxiety or fear of the public but please remember this, we don’t eat raw chicken and as long as we cook it, we are protected against any bacteria, viruses that may have contaminated it,” Health Assistant Secretary Dr. Enrique Tayag said in an interview with ANC.
Proper hygiene and washing of hands are the first line of defense against possible infection, Tayag said.
“And if you get any fever, especially when you handled dressed chicken in San Luis, Pampanga or nearby, then you have to report to your hospital so they can make a confirmation,” he added.
Tayag noted, however, that there has been no reported case in the world of bird flu virus being transmitted to humans through consumption of contaminated meat.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol declared on Friday the first case of avian flu in the country with an outbreak of the virus that infected about 200,000 fowls, including chickens and ducks, in San Luis, Pampanga.
It may take one to two weeks to investigate the outbreak and verify possible cases of infection among people who have been exposed to dead poultry, as well as the residents in the affected areas, Tayag explained.
Tayag assured the public that the DOH and Department of Agriculture are on top of the situation and will oversee the culling of the infected birds.
International health experts are already monitoring the situation in the Philippines as bird flu also hit neighboring countries, including Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and China, the assistant secretary said.
Malacañang earlier told the public to remain calm but vigilant while the government works to contain the outbreak. JPV
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