TACLOBAN CITY- The Department of Agriculture (DA) assured the public that they are prepared in case the avian influenza (AI) hits the region.
Dr. Gabriel Banga, DA-8 veterinarian, said that although Region 8 is still free from the virus, the department has come up with precautionary measures just in case the virus could enter the region.
“It’s not like we have been waiting for it to happen but we have been preparing that if this happens, we are already prepared on what to do,” Banga said.
The Avian Influenza Task Force has already been reactivated by the department, which is composed of the rapid action team, quarantine, surveillance, and the information dissemination team.
The same task force will also be enforced in all local government units across the region.
The department has been strict on implementing its preventive measures particularly the apprehension of wild and domestic birds and poultry products transported to the region which came from the 7-kilometer quarantine radius in San Luis, Pampanga, and the towns of Jaen and San Isidro in Nueva Ecija.
Surveillance on poultry farms in Samar, Leyte, and Biliran will also be conducted starting on Thursday, August 31, 2017, Banga said during a press briefing last Tuesday (August 29).
The department earlier revealed that the bird flu that has hit parts of Luzon is H5N6, a strain that is transmittable to humans. Although officials have assured that the virus is slow to spread to humans, Dr. Zaldy Villanobos of the DA warned that the virus can still be transferred to other animals through the infected human.
Villalobos also told that the virus may still mutate from a low pathogenic strain to a highly pathogenic one under certain conditions.
Despite this, the Regional Office of the DA has assured the public that poultry products from the region are safe from the avian influenza.
(MARWAH JAILANI, LNU Student Intern)