Starting Yesterday, Bohol veterinary authorities would implement quarantine services and inspection of all buses and transportation coming to Bohol from Luzon.
With this, veterinary authorities are expected to flag down vehicles from Manila which has crossed to Bohol via the roll-on-roll-off sea transports and institute inspection, passenger footbaths and wheel spraying of chemicals to prevent the spread of the virus to Bohol.
This is to move the province-wide mobilization measures to keep Bohol free from the avian influenza outbreak which has occurred in Pampanga and could be spreading.
Avian influenza or bird flu Avian influenza refers to the disease caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses, according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with avian flu viruses have occurred, CDC continued to warn.
A highly contagious viral disease on both domestic and wild birds, bird flu is caused by orthomyxo virus, which may mutate and infects mammals and humans, according to Bohol Veterinarian Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz.
Although health authorities observing the Pampanga strain to be of low pathogenic, a mutation to high pathogenic strain which can cause sudden deaths and high mortality rates in birds may not be discounted.
The virus can be spread through contaminated eggs which can infect chicks in the incubator, contaminated feed, water, equipment and clothing as well as direct contact with infected bird’s dung or secretion, Dr. Lapiz added.
Veterinary authorities have to admit a sad fact: there has been no specific treatment for bird flu.
With the Pampanga outbreak, the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry through Assistant Secretary for Livestock and Chief Veterinary Officer Enrico Garzon Jr., DVM issued Memorandum Circular No 10 series of 2017 last August 14.
This imposed a temporary ban on the movement of live domestic and wild birds and their products including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs, semen and manure from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao, i a bid to arrest contamination of avian species in the Visayas and Mindanao.