By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Bacolod City government yesterday issued an alert regarding avian influenza, or bird flu, however, the City Health Office (CHO) affirmed there have been no recorded cases of the virus in the city.
According to CHO Environmental and Sanitation Division head, Dr. Grace Tan, she reiterated prior statements made by the Provincial Health Office (PHO), pointing out transmission of the virus between bird and human is rare.
She noted, while their office is confident poultry products from Luzon will not enter the city, there is a concern in regards to the virus being carried by migratory birds or through possible smuggling.
Tan also requested city poultry farmers to report cases of excessive deaths among their poultry population.
Meanwhile, City Veterinary Office (CVO) head, Dr. Maria Agueda Trinidad Dela Torre, said a Regional Quarantine Office team from Iloilo City has been sent to Bacolod City to ensure no poultry products are entering Bacolod City ports from Luzon.
Dela Torre also clarified, the CVO does not have the power to initiate a quarantine and it is unclear if the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) has sent personnel to the Bredco and Banago ports.
She added, their office will be conducting visits to local poultry farms.
In addition, Executive Assistant Ernie Pineda, who also heads the sectoral concerns cluster, said the sale of poultry products are being monitored, noting prices for whole-dressed chicken has not moved from P145.
Earlier this week, the PVO was put on heightened alert after the Department of Health (DOH) declared a bird flu outbreak in Luzon.
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. urged the public to remain calm and vigilant amid the recent outbreak, and assured the public the province is free from the virus./WDJ