MANILA- Malacañang on Saturday assured that there are no reported cases of bird flu virus contamination among Filipinos amid concerns on reported poultry deaths in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.
"As of this time, there has been no report --- again, there has been no report --- of bird-to-human contamination in the Philippines. We reiterate that bird flu is transferred via respiratory routes," Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
He added that the government is closely monitoring the situation in affected areas and urged the public to stop spreading unverified information on the issue.
"We ask our people to remain calm yet vigilant and to refrain from spreading unverified information that may cause undue alarm and panic," he said.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 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 Department of Agriculture on Friday confirmed the presence of avian flu virus in the farming towns of Jaen and San Isidro in Nueva Ecija.
The presence of the virus was first confirmed in the town of San Luis, Pampanga where some 600,000 birds were set to be culled.
Abella also echoed the earlier advise of health officials that properly cooked chicken meat and eggs are safe to eat.
"Our officials have been quick in their response, particularly in avian flu investigation and containment activities. They have established heightened surveillance and community action teams for detection of other fowl deaths and possible flu cases in human," he said.
Soldiers tasked with the culling of fowls have also been provided with the anti-viral medicine oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and protective gear, Abella said.