No More Suspected Bird Flu Cases, Says Agriculture and Health Secretaries

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PAMPANGA BOODLE FIGHT. President Duterte leads former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda and Nueva Ecija Willy Alvarado and other officials in a boodle fight of chicken, ducks and quails in San Fernando, Pampanga.

 

By CLAIRE MORALES TRUE

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health (DOH) declared no new cases of suspected bird flu infection were detected as the surveillance period ended Sunday, September 3.

“No new case. Basically (we can say that) after culling (period), bird flu-free na until (any) new case appears,” Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol and Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial jointly said.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) ended its culling of birds activities last Aug. 24 and has allowed the transport of chicken, eggs, ducks and quails in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao..

During the culling period, all persons involved in the activities were included in the surveillance of DOH wherein their daily temperatures and symptoms of bird flu among humans were monitored like cough, fever, sore throat, muscle pain, among others.

Also, those who manifested symptoms were provided with prophylaxis while specimens of suspected cases were also tested in the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

So far, all of the 39 suspected cases among humans were all found to be negative of the virus.

The suspected cases were considered “exposed” to the secretions of infected birds that were culled since the secretions can enter accidentally in the eyes and mouth during the culling and handling.

As part of the precautionary measures, the DOH provided personal protective equipment (PPE) and prophylaxis (oseltamivir) while trained health workers helped in the surveillance.

To help allay fears, the agency also endorsed the consumption of poultry products and proper information about bird flu transmission among humans for better understanding of the public.

President Rodrigo Duterte led the boodlefight of chicken, ducks, quail and eggs at the Hero’s Hall in San Fernando, Pampanga to dramatize that the poultry were now safe to eat.

The President was joined by former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda, Bulacan Gov. Willy Alvarado, Cabinet members led by Pinol and Press Secretary Martin Andanar and other national and local government officials during the event.

Duterte also led in the distribution of financial assistance and compensation for the chicken, ducks and quails which were culled.

 

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