DAGUPAN CITY – The City Veterinary Office here released several avian influenza protection measures that should be observed by the public amid the bird flu outbreak in Pampanga.
A the same time, City Veterinarian Dr. Michael P. Maramba advised the public to report to authorities any illegal entry of infected chicken and their products and by-products in the market or any unusual death or unexplained high mortality of chicken in poultry farms for three consecutive days.
Maramba disclosed that exposure to influenza virus such as H5N2, H7N2, and H5N1 is possible during the slaughtering process and when plucking feathers of chicken or fowls.
He said bird flu is transmitted to humans through close contact with infected birds or through inhalation or contamination with infected discharges, feces of sick birds; or when virus secreted in feces is pulverized and is inhaled. Flapping of wings could also hasten the transmission, he added.
While there is no evidence established as of press time that any human case of Avian Influenza have been acquired by eating poultry products, it is not recommended that meat of sick chicken be taken in as food for humans and other animals.
Maramba, likewise, encouraged consumers to cook all poultry (including eggs) thoroughly till a temperature of 70 degrees centigrade before eating these. Raw poultry materials should be handled hygienically because if done improperly, this can be associated with many infections, including salmonella.
All utensils and surfaces (including hands) that get in contact with the raw poultry should be cleaned thoroughly with water and soap immediately afterwards.
Maramba further advised the public to maintain cleanliness of the surroundings; construct bird houses and do not allow chicken to loiter around; prevent domestic ducks from having access to ponds, lakes or creeks or where wild water birds stay; do not get near wild birds or keep them in captivity; do not crowd or mix poultry, pigs and other animals in one enclosed area; and do not sell wild poultry in the market. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/Aug. 14, 2017)