LAOAG CITY—The Ilocos Norte government is urging all poultry raisers and other stakeholders in the province to stay vigilant against avian influenza Type A (H5N1), commonly known as bird flu.
Gervy James Gumarit, head of the Communication and Media Office of the Ilocos Norte government, said Sunday last Oct. 20, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 1 distributed free-range chickens to 20 Balik Probinsya beneficiaries.
Several days later, the chickens tested positive for bird flu, hence, the local government units concerned were alerted while the Provincial Veterinary Office in coordination with the DA is conducting surveillance and disinfecting services.
To prevent the spread of bird flu, all mayors, quarantine guards, shippers, farm owners, backyard raisers, and other stakeholders were told to implement preventive and quarantine measures immediately.
“Please coordinate with your respective Agriculture Office for any poultry mortality and Health Offices for any influenza-like symptoms,” Gumarit said.
All stakeholders were also advised to implement strict biosecurity and prevent free-range chickens from being on the loose. If not confined, net enclosures should be in place.
Provincial veterinarian Dr. Loida Valenzuela said bird flu is considered an economic disease as well as a disease of public health importance.
The public is advised not to eat raw poultry products and only buy live or dressed poultry from sellers who can provide proof that their commodity is negative for the disease.