Bird flu hits Nueva Ecija farm: agri dept
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Bird flu hits Nueva Ecija farm: agri dept

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - The agriculture department said Monday it had detected a strain of bird flu in Nueva Ecija province, north of the capital, with a "very, very slim" chance of being transmitted to humans.

Some 1,500 quail at a farm in Barangay Ulanin-Pitak, Jaen town were infected with the H5N6 "highly pathogenic" avian influenza, said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

Dar said he had banned the sale of quail meat and eggs within the farm's 1-kilometer radius. 

Individuals who were exposed to the infected quail will be quarantined until the release of their health test results, said Dr. Arlene Vytiaco, the agriculture department's spokesperson for avian flu. 

Some 200,000 fowls were culled in Pampanga province due to the virus in 2017. 

No human was infected with avian influenza then, said Vytiaco. 

"Iyong percentage na maka-infect siya sa tao is very, very slim," she told reporters. 

A total of 24 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with the H5N6 virus, including 7 deaths, have been reported from China since 2014, the WHO said in March 6 report

"Whenever avian influenza viruses are circulating in poultry, there is a risk for sporadic infection and small clusters of human cases due to exposure to infected poultry or contaminated environments. Therefore, sporadic human cases are not unexpected," said the WHO. 

With a report from Henry Atuelan, ABS-CBN News