City of San Fernando remains free from avian influenza or bird flu, despite cases being reported in nearby towns of Santo Tomas and Minalin.
Mayor Vilma Caluag said that while there were seven reported cases in the city from May to June 2022, the last cases were already culled and depopulated as of June 6, 2022.
“Humans exposed to these cases underwent physical examination and were given first aid by the Health Emergency Management Staff of the City Health Office to ensure their safety,” she said.
Caluag added that while there are currently no active cases in the city, the local government is doing preventive measures including activating task force bird flu to prevent entry of the virus.
“Our City Agriculture and Veterinary Office (CAVO) also does surveillance and monitoring activities in poultry farms within the city. Our team conducts blood sampling and swab testing among suspected cases,” she furthered.
The mayor also assured that it is safe to consume chicken, duck, quail meat and their by-products because the city government has inspection teams which regularly monitor and inspect plants and establishments selling poultry products.
However, despite the efforts of the city government, the local chief executive called on Fernandinos’ help by immediately reporting to the CAVO should they observe any signs of the disease among their birds, or should they experience successive deaths of their poultry animals.
The city government also urged barangay officials to take the lead in the campaign against bird flu, and to support the avian influenza protection program of the provincial and national governments.
Bird flu is an influenza virus that affects different avian species. It can cause severe respiratory illnesses to poultry animals like cough, colds, fever, and body malaise that can result in their death.
People may get infected with bird flu, but animal to human transmission is unlikely, especially if humans have no close contact with the affected case or area.