Recently, the Department of Agriculture confirmed about the bird flu outbreak particularly in San Luis, Pampanga. Due to the outbreak, the province was placed under a state of calamity and approximately 40,000 poultry heads were culled.
In August 12, DOH Asst. Secretary Eric Tayag encouraged the public specifically the poultry farm owners to report cases of dead or sick chickens suspected to be inflicted with bird flu to the authorities. Likewise, the authorities prompted the consumers to be extra careful from eating chicken if they don’t know where it came from.
To prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the country, the Department of Agriculture has banned the shipments of fowls. In the same manner, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources also issued a warning to the public to stay away from migratory birds. Poaching or killing of migratory birds may just worsen the situation.
In spite of the prevailing outbreak, authorities said that consumers can still eat chicken meat, and eggs, and other poultry products provided that they are properly and well-cooked. The temperature when cooking chicken should be more than 70° Celsius. Such temperature is enough to kill the bird flu virus.
To ensure the safety of the public, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health is closely observing the situation in Pampanga. They will provide protective equipment and flu vaccinations to poultry responders and handlers.
Another preventive measure implemented by the government is putting nearby towns of San Luis under quarantine. Chicken, quails, and ducks raised within the 1-kilometer radius will be culled as mandated by the Department of Agriculture to control the outbreak.
In addition, Tayag urged chicken farmers to practice biosecurity and ensure that the quarters are clean and the chickens are contained and should not be allowed to mingle with other animals.