PH 'eradicates' bird flu, says DA

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 13) — The Philippines has “eradicated” bird flu less than a year after the disease of poultry, which can be transmitted to people, reemerged in the country, an official disclosed on Tuesday.

“Ang avian influenza or bird flu ay na-eradicate na natin. We are already free (of the disease)," Agriculture Undersecretary for Livestock William Medrano said in a briefing. "Dineclare na iyan ng Bureau of Animal Industry and then siyempre pipirmahan din ni Secretary (William Dar),"

[Translation: We have eradicated avian influenza or bird flu. We are already free of the disease as declared by the Bureau of Animal Industry. The declaration report will then be signed by the Secretary.]

Medrano was referring to the official “self-declaration” report, stating that the Philippines is now free of bird flu. Once approved by the Agriculture chief, the report will be sent to the World Organisation for Animal Health for publication on its website. 

After more than two years of enjoying the bird flu-free status, the Department of Agriculture announced the reemergence of avian influenza in a quail farm in Nueva Ecija in March 2020. In July of the same year, officials said the disease was contained in the area. Infection control strategies include culling of infected animals and disinfection of contaminated areas.

The bird flu was also detected in a poultry farm in Pampanga and a backyard farm in Rizal last year. 

The World Organisation for Animal Health said people who are in close contact with infected poultry are at risk of catching avian influenza.