WHILE authorities in Misamis Oriental are not letting their guard down against the spread of Covid-19, officials are also keeping their watch against avian influenza which was detected in Jaen, Nueva Ecija under highly pathogenic strain H5N6.
On Monday, March 16, Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano activated the Provincial Avian Influenza Task Force to implement strategies in preventing the entry and spread of bird flu.
Assistant Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Efren Viloria said they are now closely monitoring and intensified its inspection in quarantine stations in Magsaysay and Lugait towns to ensure that poultry products from Nueva Ecija and other provinces could not enter without proper documents and permits.
Viloria also said the task force is monitoring the wetlands in the province such as in Baybay, Alubijid; Taytay, El Salvador City; Barra, Opol; Pangasihan, Gingoog City; and Santa Cruz, Magsaysay; where migratory birds from Luzon and other countries like China may flock to seek sanctuary.
The task force is headed by the governor and composed of several teams such as rapid action team, surveillance team, quarantine team, vaccination team and census team.
“Kung mo-spread ning virus sa Jaen, dili na ka pwede magkuha poultry products from Luzon unya dal-on sa Mindanao,” Viloria said.
The Department of Agriculture said the virus was detected in a quail farm in Jaen, Nueva Ecija where some 1,500 to 15,000 quails died in a farm in Barangay Ulanin-Pitak.
Agriculture officials said there is a chance that the virus can be transmitted to human.
“Mao ni ang hadlok kay kay pwede ma-transmit sa tawo through ingestion gikan sa hugaw sa carrier nga langgam nga pulverize kung ma-inhale nimo mosulod sa system. Fatal siya,”Viloria said.
“Ang worst case pa gyud kung human to human transmission,”he added.
Viloria said they already informed poultry raisers who also expressed worries in the event that the virus enters the province.
He said the poultry industry will incur major damage if bird flu enters Misamis Oriental.
“Kung makasulod na totally. Wala’y movement sa mga manok kay i-cull out mana and it will take time for us to recover,” Viloria said.
He said Northern Mindanao is the third poultry producer in the country.