Vet office, DENR ever alert on avian flu
By Danny O. Sagun
PANGASINAN (11 April) -- THE provincial task force on Avian Influenza is ready for any eventuality, representatives of concerned government agencies assured recently.
Dr. Benedicto Perez, provincial veterinarian, said that dry runs have been conducted by his office in coordination with other agencies like the offices of health and of environment to make them ready with any possible outbreak of the dreaded bird flu, which has affected most Asian countries except the Philippines, Singapore and Brunei.
He told the Pantongtongan Tayo radio program of the Philippine Information Agency over Radyo ng Bayan-DZMQ that stringent measures have been adopted to prevent contamination of poultry, fowls and local birds.
As in the relentless campaign against foot and mouth disease (FMD), he said his office is closely guarding and monitoring boundary points to prevent entry of imported meat products or smuggled goods from bird flu infected countries like China.
Dr. Carlita Savedo, technical head at the provincial health office, noted that bird flu virus easily dies in tropical countries like the Philippines, similar to the SARS virus, so that infection here remained negative.
“Plain luck,” observed Perez however noting that other tropical countries like Indonesia has had bird flue contaminations.
Both urged the public to maintain cleanliness and sanitation all the time. Washing of hands, they said, is very simple but very effective in fighting bird flu and all other forms of disease.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources for its part is monitoring favorite areas of migratory birds. The western towns of Bani, Bolinao and Alaminos where mangroves abound thus attracting many wild birds are closely monitored.
Barangay Biec in Binmaley is also under watch as in areas in central and eastern Pangasinan where swamps and fishponds are located, provincial environment and natural resources officer Leduina Co also told the radio program.
Pangasinan was not included in the closely-monitored “hot spot” areas like the Candaba swamps in Pampanga and Pagudpod town in Ilocos Norte because of the absence of wide swampy areas, she said. Areas with high concentration of poultry however are also under watch.(PIA-Pangasinan) [top]