“Be safe from bird flu,” says City Veterinarian

BALON DAGUPAN NEWS

THE city veterinary office has sent out an advisory informing city residents how they can protect themselves from being infected by avian influenza amid the bird flu outbreak in Pampanga.

City Veterinarian Dr. Michael P. Maramba also asked residents to report to authorities any information about an illegal entry of infected whole and processed by-products in the market or any cases of unusual deaths or unexplained high mortality of chicken in poultry farms for three consecutive days.

Maramba warned that exposure to influenza virus such as H5N2, H7N2, and H5N1 is possible during the slaughtering process and when plucking feathers of chicken or fowls.

He said bird flu is transmitted to humans through close contact with infected birds or through inhalation or contamination with infected discharges, feces of sick birds; or when virus secreted in feces is pulverized and is inhaled. Flapping of wings could also hasten the transmission, he added.

While there is no evidence established as of press time that any human case of Avian Influenza have been acquired by eating poultry products, he said no one should risk eating an infected chicken or feeding it to animals.

He advised that anything that gets in contact with fresh or processed poultry should be washed thoroughly with water and soap immediately.

Maramba also encouraged households to thoroughly cook chicken and eggs (70 degrees centigrade) before eating these. Raw poultry should be handled carefully because it can cause other infections, including salmonella.

To households that keep chickens in their backyards, he advises them to keep their surroundings clean and not allow chicken to loiter beyond their yards; prevent ducks from approaching ponds, lakes or creeks or where migratory birds stay; to stay away from wild migratory birds or keep them in captivity; to separate poultry from, pigs and other animals, and not to sell captured wild birds in the market. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO)