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PIA Press Release

Siquijor on high gear vs avian influenza

by Federico G. Ada Jr, IO/PVO

Province of Siquijor (13 August) -- Can you imagine if Jollibee, Mac Donald and even our local chicken ati-atihan close shop because of Avian Influenza? Certainly, it is a big set back on our already edging economy. In countries like China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand millions of chicken, ducks, pigeons and other avian species were destroyed to prevent further spread of the disease capable of infecting people.

Philippines is one of the two Asian countries that has remained unaffected by Avian Influenza and the government is determined to keep the disease at bay. Like in other provinces of the country, Siquijor is aware and had conducted a 3 day Avian Influenza contingency planning workshop aimed to craft strategies to prevent entry or halt the spread of the disease using all available resources with least possible casualties on human population.

Previous outbreaks of influenza had caused millions of human deaths.

Avian Influenza (Avian Flu) is a disease among avian species only. However, the virus can transform or mutate making other animals including humans highly susceptible. Vaccination as a preventive tool is not very practical. Direct contact with infected birds or its excretions are the sources of infection.

At present, transmission of the disease from person to person has been reported but is limited, inefficient and unsustained. The greatest concern is when the virus gains the capacity to spread easily that an influenza pandemic (worldwide outbreak of the disease) could begin. Scientists predict that it will definitely happen and it is just a matter of time. (PIA) [top]

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