The highly pathogenic H5N6 avian influenza or bird flu has been confirmed in a farm in Nueva Ecija after a reported increase in deaths of 1,500 out of 15,000 quails. The Department of Agriculture (DA) has already banned the sale of quail meat and eggs within the farm’s one-kilometer radius. Twenty-five thousand birds have already been surgically stamped out since.
While cleaning and disinfection are being carried out, live birds are restricted from entering contaminated areas. The authorities are also currently tracing the origins of the virus. Humans may possibly obtain the virus from the secretion of infected poultry, although the mortality rate is low. According to DA spokesperson on avian flu Dr. Arlene Vytianco, those who had recent contact with the virus-carrying birds are subject to quarantine until the release of their health test results.
In 2017, the same strain caused the death of 200,000 birds in Pampanga. There are no affected humans in the country so far, according to DA Secretary William Dar. Twenty-four cases of H5N6-caused human infection, including seven deaths, have been recorded in China since 2014.