PH free of bird flu, agriculture dept says

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 04 2020 10:05 AM | Updated as of Feb 04 2020 11:33 AM

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MANILA - The Philippines does not have a reported case of bird flu, the Department of Agriculture said Tuesday after China and India reported an outbreak.

"Year-round ang monitoring namin. Wala tayo dito sa Pilipinas," Agriculture Secretary William Dar told radio DZMM.

The Bureau of Animal Industry said it regularly collects samples from migratory birds in around 60 areas identified by the agriculture and health departments in its avian influenza prevention program.

"Kung may ma-detect man ay gagawa na agad ng intervention," BAI director Ronnie Domingo told radio DZMM.

China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs announced Saturday an outbreak of a highly pathogenic strain of H5N1 bird flu at a farm in the southern province of Hunan.

The virus was discovered on a farm with nearly 8,000 chickens - more than half of them have already died because of the outbreak.

Earlier this week, authorities in India also started culling chickens and destroying eggs to contain the bird flu virus.

A different strain - the H5N8 virus - has spread throughout eastern Europe in recent weeks.

A bird flu outbreak in China back in 2013 ended up costing $6.5 billion in economic losses, according to UN experts.

--With Reuters