DOH isolates 2 persons with flu-like symptoms amid bird flu outbreak

Kori Quintos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2017 04:09 PM

A duck stays at a checkpoint, one of the farm products confiscated as it was being brought into San Luis, Pampanga on Monday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said it was monitoring 2 persons with flu-like symptoms who may have been exposed to the virus in chicken farms affected by the bird flu outbreak in San Luis, Pampanga.

The two are both under observation and have been isolated in a hospital, the DOH said.

The health department said one had cough while the other one had fever. Results of tests conducted on the two will be released Wednesday. 

The Department of Agriculture (DA) last Saturday began culling fowls in the barangays of San Carlos and Sta. Rita in San Luis town after the country recorded its first bird-flu outbreak Friday.

The DOH, however, reminded the public that the virus in San Luis, Pampanga is not airborne and human-to-human transmission is not possible.

Only those who are exposed to the farms and fowls in San Luis are being monitored, and only these exposures can lead to a case of chicken-to-human transmission of bird flu, the DOH said. 

The DOH is still waiting for the results of the DA's investigation on what strain of bird flu affected some farms in San Luis.

The DOH also clarified that flu vaccines cannot protect humans against the bird flu virus but it can guard against flu mutation that can happen if a person was infected. 

The DOH also reiterated that there is no cause for alarm because this is an animal health virus, not a public health problem.