Bird flu affecting only 2 Pampanga villages, says official

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2017 09:19 AM | Updated as of Aug 15 2017 11:12 AM

A duck stays at the checkpoint as one of the confiscated poultry product caught as it was being taken into San Luis on Monday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The country's first avian flu outbreak affected only 2 villages in Pampanga and not the whole province, an official clarified Tuesday.

The outbreak was contained in the barangays of San Carlos and Sta. Rita in San Luis town, said Dr. Arlyn Vytiaco, national avian influenza focal person of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

Both villages, Vytiaco told DZMM, are inside a 1-kilometer radius quarantine zone, where some 200,000 fowls will be culled.

The movement of poultry products meanwhile is not restricted in towns outside another 7-kilometer radius "controlled zone" where no fowls or eggs could be brought out, said Vytiaco.

She added that the Department of Agriculture is waiting for test results from Australia to confirm if the bird flu strain observed in San Luis could be transmitted to humans.

"Pag positive po tayo sa M6 [strain], nandoon na po ang possibility na makahawa iyan sa tao. So ang talagang kikilos naman po diyan sa surveillance ng mga tao at control ng movement ng mga tao will be the DOH (Department of Health)" the doctor said.

If we test positive for the M6 strain, there is a possibility that the bird flu virus could be transmitted to humans. The DOH will then take charge of monitoring and controlling the public's movement.)

San Luis Mayor Venancio Macapagal said local authorities have tightened checks in all barangays to prevent the spread of the virus.

"Kailangan po talaga sa lalong madaling panahon masolusyunan ito para makapagsimula ulit sila at ma-lift na po ang ban sa pag-aangkat at pagluluwas po ng mga produkto natin," Macapagal said.

He also assured that the government will give financial assistance to affected poultry raisers.