Thursday, August 10, 2017

PH records first avian flu outbreak

MANILA - The Philippines has recorded its first bird flu outbreak and will "eliminate" half a million chickens to control the spread of the virus, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Friday.

Around 38,000 chickens have died of the Avian Influenza Type A Subtype H5 in San Luis town, Pampanga, Piñol reported at the Mango Stakeholders Forum Friday.

To prevent the spread of the deadly virus, Piñol said around 500,000 chickens would be "eliminated."

The Department of Agriculture has also ordered a halt to the transport of poultry from Luzon to other parts of the country until further notice to control the outbreak.

Avian influenza is a viral infection that spreads among birds but can infect humans as well.

According to the World Health Organization, human infection is primarily acquired through direct contact with infected animals.

The infection may cause diseases such as mild conjunctivitis or swelling of the eyes, severe pneumonia and even death. Interaction with humans infected with the flu, however, does not result in "efficient transmission" between people.

The WHO also clarified that there is no evidence that the avian flu can be acquired by eating properly cooked eggs or poultry.