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PIA Press Release
2008/02/20

Mindanao declared "free from bird flu"

By Rose B. Palacio

Davao City (20 February) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) said that while Mindanao remain "free from bird-flu", DA will have to be vigilant in supporting the government' effort to be free from this bird disease.

Department of Agriculture XI head for poultry and livestock Dr. Rafael Mercado said the Task Force created by the government to address and handle activities for the prevention of the entry of birds flu remain vigilant in enforcing laws to prevent entry of said the disease.

Migratory bird is one of the causes for the spread of this disease, Dr. Mercado said.

Among the identified areas in Mindanao that are closely being watched include: Liguasan Marsh in Maguindanao; Agusan Marsh; La Paz in Carmen; Malalag, Davao del Sur; and Banay-Banay in Davao oriental.

He said that in a laboratory assessment of the Philippine Animal Health center on poultry and other fowl in Mindanao, the result of the screening of fecal, cloasal and oral swabs among chicken and other fowls are negative.

He said about 3,000 samples collected throughout the country including those from Mindanao showed negative of H5+1 or the basic agent of the bird flu virus.

However, despite its negative result, the task force on the prevention and control of bird-flu remain alert and our monitoring should not slow down, he said.

Mindanao is a bird-flu free island but there are still other ways for the spread of this virus that's why our task force remain vigilant in our campaign, he said.

Dr. Mercado explained that the virus could be carried by human coming from a country infected with the virus or through smuggled poultry and other similar products from a foreign country where the virus is prevalent. (PIA) [top]

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