Cotabato declared bird flu-free | Inquirer Business

Cotabato declared bird flu-free

/ 08:24 PM November 16, 2023

MANILA  -Cotabato has been officially declared free of bird flu, more than a year after this animal disease was detected in the area, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The DA announced this development in a memorandum circular after consecutive tests yielded negative results for more than 90 days after the completion of cleaning operations and surveillance activities.

Previously, the department had declared Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan free of avian influenza. Camarines Sur, Davao del Sur, Rizal, South Cotabato, Ilocos Sur, Batangas, Capiz, Quezon and Aurora were also found fully recovered from highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).


Cotabato had recorded six confirmed cases of HPAI subtype H5N1 which were detected in ducks from the municipalities of Mlang, Tulunan and Carmen in March, April and December last year.


READ: New bird flu cases detected in Luzon, Mindanao

Upon detection, the provincial government of Cotabato, along with the DA’s regional office in Soccsksargen and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), conducted disease investigation, immediate depopulation, cleaning and disinfection, movement restrictions and surveillance in the affected areas.

“Continued disease monitoring and surveillance in the 1-km (kilometer) and 7-km surveillance zones surrounding the affected farms yielded negative test results for influenza type A virus,” the DA said in its Nov. 15 memo.

The World Organization for Animal Health’s terrestrial animal health code states a previously free country or zone may regain its avian influenza-free status at least 28 days after completing a stamping-out policy and disinfecting the last affected establishment, and that ensuing surveillance demonstrated the absence of infection. INQ

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TAGS: Bird flu, Cotabato, Department of Agriculture

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