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No bird-to-human infection in PH

By: Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

Malacañang allayed yesterday fears of possible bird-to-human contamination of the avian flu strain which hit San Isidro, Pampanga, this month.

This after the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported that based on test results, the avian flu strain AH5N6 can be transmitted to humans.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, in a statement, said there has been no documented bird-to-human contamination of the said virus in the Philippines.

“The results are in all those who showed flu-like symptoms have already tested negative for the AH5N6 virus, this is according to the Department of Health (DoH),” Abella said yesterday morning.

Abella also reminded the public that bird flu is transferred via respiratory and direct routes. Properly cooked chicken meat and eggs also remain safe to eat.

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol earlier said that all poultry products available in the market are safe for consumption as live fowls undergo tests and certifications before being dressed and sold in markets.

The DA has also confirmed that the avian flu strain found in San Isidro, Pampanga tested positive for H5N6, a virus that can be transmitted to humans but with a very low rate of mortality and transmission.

President Duterte is also set to visit Pampanga tomorrow, Monday, to lead the boodle fight and eat poultry products to assure the public that cooked eggs and birds are safe for public consumption.

“On Monday, the President will travel to San Fernando, Pampanga. He will lead us in a boodle fight where we will partake of balut, chicken barbecue, and fried itik,” Piñol had said.

“I relayed to the President the appeal of the stakeholders of the poultry industry for the President to help in the campaign to educate our consumers that anything sold in our market is safe,” he added.

Malacañang earlier assured the public that it is closely monitoring Pampanga and Nueva Ecija following the reported cases of avian flu.