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Palace appeals for calm amid bird flu outbreak

By: Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

Malacañang yesterday appealed to the public to remain calm yet vigilant amid the avian influenza outbreak in a poultry farm in Pampanga confirmed by the Department of Agriculture last Friday.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, in a statement, assured the public that the government is closely monitoring the situation in Pampanga.

“We ask our people to remain calm yet vigilant. Any person living or residing in affected areas or who had been exposed to dead chickens who becomes sick with flu or flu-like illness, such as fever and or sore throat and cough, should immediately report to their local health center or nearest hospital for laboratory test,” Abella said. “As of this time, there has been no report of bird-to-human contamination,” he added.

Abella noted that the Department of Health is assisting the DA in avian flu investigation and containment activities, which include flu vaccinations and protective equipment for poultry handlers and responders.

Heightened surveillance for flu-like syndromes has been instituted within a seven-kilometer radius of the affected farm, he said.

According to Abella, the DoH assured that avian flu is transferred via respiratory routes. Properly cooked chicken meat and eggs remain safe to eat.