March 17, 2020


12,000 quails culled due to avian influenza outbreak in Philippines


William Dar, Philippines' Agriculture Secretary said the H5N6 influenza A virus was discovered at a quail farm located in the northern region of the country, reported Reuters.


The strain detected at Jaen municipality in Nueva Ecija province is similar to one that hit local farms in 2017.


12,00 quails have been culled and buried to halt infections of the virus, which is a highly infectious subtype.


A surveillance between 1 km to 7 km from the detected area has been introduced to confirm that the virus has not spread around the area.


A movement restriction via animal quarantine checkpoints has been setup to prevent all live domestic birds being transported to and from the quarantined location. Exceptions have been made for day-old chicks, hatchling eggs and chicken meat to ensure domestic poultry supply, as long as the source farms have been tested negative for avian influenza.


Dar said this case has only affected one quail farm and it has not spread to other farms.


Dr. Arlene Vytiaco, the agriculture department's technical spokeswoman for avian influenza said there is a possibility that this virus can spread to humans, but the chances are minimal. She added that the mortality rate is zero.


The agriculture department and local government are conducting contact tracing operations to investigate the infection's source.


-      Reuters