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Davao City remains bird flu-free

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Davao City – This city remains free from avian influenza (AI) or bird flu virus, the city veterinary office (CVO) declared Thursday.

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“Davao City is Avian-Free, and we are requesting people in the barangays if you observe cases of sick or dying chickens you may report to the City Veterinarian’s Office or call 225-0511,” said Dr. Cerelyn Pinili, CVO chief, in a statement.

Currently, Pinili said the CVO is closely coordinating with the Department of Agriculture (DA) for the implementation of stricter quarantine measures in all checkpoints on poultry and by-products to prevent the entry of bird flu here and in the region.

She said the stringent AI measures were imposed amid the outbreak of bird flu in Luzon and nearby Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat.

“The mortality in poultry is high and once chickens are affected, it would mean 80 to 90 percent mortality. The transmission now is bird-to-bird, poultry-to-poultry, but the cases in Luzon and Tacurong only ducks and quails are affected, not the chickens,” Pinili explained.

Last month, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) detected cases of bird flu in Baliwag, Bulacan, and recorded a similar outbreak in Candaba and Mexico towns in Pampanga.

On March 10, BAI confirmed another outbreak in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat, where 1,000 ducks had been culled.

The DA also issued Memorandum Circular No. 6, which mandates that the transfer of live birds from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao is temporarily suspended for 30 days.

Pinili said despite a zero case of bird flu here, the CVO is doing its best to ensure that the virus will not enter the city by placing veterinary checkpoints in Lasang, Lacson Calinan, between Arakan and Marilog, and in Sirawan.

“We are also intensifying surveillance in critical AI areas in Davao – Talomo, Tugbok, and Calinan – because these are where the huge population of poultry is located,” Pinili said.

Meanwhile, Pinili said humans can be affected by the virus and may experience cold-like symptoms.

“There is a treatment for humans, but none for poultry. So that is why we would resort to depopulation, if not it will spread,” she said. (Che Palicte)

(Source: Philippine News Agency)

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