BIRD FLU outbreaks in the Philippines have been contained, authorities said on Wednesday, but monitoring activities are continuing in surrounding areas of affected farms.
“So far, all are resolved in the sense that we’ve culled the affected (poultry) so if ever the ongoing activities to control the disease is the surveillance in the one kilometer and seven-kilometer areas,” said Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Assistant Director Arlene Asteria V. Vytiaco in a press briefing.
She said the BAI has detected a total of eight cases of the type H5N1 avian influenza since February 2022, correcting an announcement on Tuesday that identified six areas.
The eight cases were in Candaba and Masantol, Pampanga; Sta. Maria, Bulacan; the Cagayan Valley; Sultan Kudarat; Sampaloc, Manila; Guimba, Nueva Ecija; and Pinukukpuk, Kalinga.
Ms. Vytiaco said there were 263 farms that tested positive for the virus in 2022, and eight farms this year.
Meanwhile, the BAI is still open to the use of vaccines against the disease under the Avian Influenza Protection Program (AIPP).
“Based on our current AIPP, it is not an option, but we are not closing our minds to completely discarding it. Let’s emphasize that vaccination is just a complementary tool, it is not the ultimate solution,” Ms. Vytiaco said in mixed English and Filipino.
On Feb. 1, the BAI held a consultation with stakeholders and asked them to submit position papers on the use of bird flu vaccine.
The BAI will submit a consolidated position paper to the agriculture department, which is headed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera