BIRD FLU SCARE. Avian influenza infection has been detected in Roxas City. The Department of Agriculture, the provincial government of Capiz, and the city government of Roxas City started the conduct of surveillance to determine the extent of the spread of avian influenza in Roxas City on Tuesday (Dec. 6, 2022). (PNA photo by PGLena)

ILOILO CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Capiz provincial government on Tuesday started their surveillance on the spread of avian influenza covering the one-kilometer radius from the area where the first case was reported in Roxas City.

The Roxas city government is also part of the surveillance team.

Engr. Jose Albert A. Barrogo, OIC-Regional Executive Director of the DA Western Visayas Field Unit, in an interview said the farm in Barangay Cagay where the five samples tested positive for Influenza Virus Type A (IVA) subtype H5N1 was secluded and almost near a fishpond area.

“The population within the vicinity of the farm is 398 actually; 380 are RTL (ready to lay) pullets, eight are ducks and 10 native chickens,” he said.

Of the 380 RTL, 200 are the existing stocks while 180 were delivered only on Nov. 4, 2022 and from which the five positive samples were extracted after the death of 26 RTLs.

Together with the Provincial Veterinary Offices of the six provinces in Western Visayas, Barrogo said they entertain the possibility that there could be more pullets from the batch of the 180 RTLs which could have been shipped to other farms.

"We are trying our best to trace the other batch of the shipment. There are information coming in but we are still verifying. All our provinces are already mobilized to check the farms were they are delivered,” he added.

A report is being prepared to identify the source of the shipment while the shipper is also under investigation to determine the volume sourced from Luzon.

Meantime, as of Dec. 4, he said that almost 217 RTL and eight ducks were depopulated and seven eggs were buried.

The H5N1 virus is highly contagious among birds and can be deadly, especially for domestic poultry, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Western Visayas has a PHP33 billion dollar industry, excluding the game fowl industry. (PNA)