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PIA Press Release
2007/04/03

BAI to citizens: Keep guard vs bird flu

Bacolod City (3 April) -- The Philippines faces the risk of being affected by Avian Flu if local animal and health authorities and the citizens will not sustain their present vigilance against the dreaded disease, Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) official Dr. Rose Antegro, said.

Furthermore, Asean countries already affected by Avian Influenza surround the Philippines posing huge threat to the health of Filipinos and its poultry industry.

"Bird Flu or Avian Influenza (AI) is an infectious disease in chicken, ducks and other birds caused by different subtypes of the influenza A virus," Antegro said during a recent Stay Bird Flu Free Philippines seminar in Manila.

The most dangerous type is the H5N1, considered Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). It has now caused the death of more than a hundred people and thousands of chickens, ducks and birds world wide.

Antegro explained that people of all ages are at risk but the greater risk include those people directly working in a poultry, those living near it, and poultry traders. Infants and the elderly are considered having the least resistance to flu, she added.

A bird flu outbreak is said to have set in when there is unexplained death among birds for three consecutive days, loss of appetite, and drastic drop in egg production.

Its feathers are ruffled, the face swell and the combs and wattles turn bluish-violet. Severe respiratory signs also appear including sneezing, cough and nasal discharge, diarrhea, and hemorrhages in internal organs and the legs swell.

The public is urged to report the case immediately if birds in their area show these signs.

Given this scenario, everyone, especially the children, is advised not to touch sick or dying birds, cover their mouth when they cough and always wash their hands with soap to ensure that they do not get the virus. (PIA-LOL) [top]

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