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Bird flu outbreak sa Pampanga

MANILA, Philippines — Kinumpirma ng Department of Agriculture (DA) ang avian influenza virus (bird flu) outbreak sa San Luis, Pampanga kung saan halos 40,000 poultry heads na ang namamatay.

Sinabi ni Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol na mayroong highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) subtype H5 sa bayan ng San Luis.

"There were said to be indications as early as May but the commercial poultry operators did not report it immediately. Then the situation worsened around July," wika ni Piñol.

Wala pa namang naiuulat na poultry to human contamination ngunit iniutos na ng DA ang pagpatay sa nasa 400,000 captive birds na nagkakahalaga ng P25 milyon hanggang P28 milyon upang maiwasan ang pagkalat ng sakit.

"I immediately ordered the deployment of quarantine officers within the one-kilometer radius. We will kill all poultry as there are a lot of those being used for cockfights," dagdag ng kalihim.

"I don’t care if we have to kill a million including those free range and stray fowls. What is that compared to the whole poultry industry? We have to do it because we don’t want the disease to spread," patuloy ni Piñol.

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Inaalam pa naman ng kagawaran kung saan nanggaling ang virus na unang kumalat sa Asya noong 2003.

"We have two possible sources. First is the migratory birds and second is the ongoing smuggling of Peking duck from China, possibly coursed through the Subic area," paliwanag ni Piñol.

"The good thing about the situation is that we are an archipelagic country. If there’s an outbreak in Luzon, we can still prevent it from spreading in the Visayas and Mindanao," dagdag niya.

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