Philippines confirms new “H5N6 bird flu” outbreak

Philippine authorities announced on Monday the outbreak of “H5N6 bird flu” at a quail farm in New Ecija province.

To contain the infection, a total of 12,000 birds have been sacrificed and buried.

Furthermore, the authorities have restricted the movements of alive birds in the area. In addition, cleaning and disinfection work is being carried out.

“Highly pathogenic avian influenza is a poultry disease  that can affect humans,” said William Dar, secretary of the Philippine Department of Agriculture.

The tests were conducted on Friday, March 13, after about 15.000 quails died suspiciously on March 9.

“Highly pathogenic avian influenza is a poultry disease  that can affect humans. However, the H5N6 that affected the Philippines […] has not affected humans in the country. Globally, there have only been four cases of human infections, and all of these were reported in China,” said William Dar.

12 thousand eggs were removed

“Following the manual of procedures for protection against Asian influenza, a total of 12,000 eggs were surgically removed and buried on March 14, 2020. Cleaning and disinfection were implemented accordingly,” he added.

H5N6 was first detected in China in 2014. Since then, WHO has only documented 24 cases of contagion to humans, seven of them ended in deaths, all in China.

This outbreak is detected while the country is fighting the spread of the Covid-19 virus. To date, it has left 8 dead and a total of 98 infected people in the Asian country.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he will impose a “reinforced community quarantine” on the entire Luzon island, where more than 57 million people live, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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