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Department of Agriculture confirms new bird flu case

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol confirmed the case of bird flu in Nueva Ecija after reports of culling of around 40,000 birds surfaced earlier this week. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File

MANILA, Philippines — Almost four months since the first outbreak, the Department of Agriculture (DA) disclosed yesterday there has been another incident of avian influenza in the country, but stressed there is no reason to panic as the bird flu is being handled properly.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol confirmed the case of bird flu in Nueva Ecija after reports of culling of around 40,000 birds surfaced earlier this week.

“Basically, yes, it is another case of bird flu in Cabiao. Culling has been started last Nov. 12 and ended last Nov. 22,” Piñol told The STAR.

“We did not make a big issue out of it. It was a problem that was handled very well by local officials. Unlike the first incident where we were uncertain as to what to do, now we already have a clearer picture on what courses of action to take,” he added.

In Pangasinan, Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) chairman Rosendo So also said the latest incident should not alarm consumers about possible resurgence of bird flu.

So said they met with Piñol about measures to adopt if such a case happens again.

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As an immediate measure, the DA has started random testing of farms in Nueva Ecija surrounding the poultry farm.

“We are conducting monitoring and so far, it is negative. So there is no reason to panic and not even to worry,” Piñol said.

Protocols being followed

“It’s per farm isolation only (for the one affected) and it’s a protocol adopted in other countries like Europe,” So said.

Other farms will also be subjected to tests and if found positive, it will be isolated but if none, then its operation will go normal, he added.

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