DOH surveillance period ends, negative of human avian flu

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    CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — The Department of Health (DOH) has ascertained that none of the hundreds of people contracted avian flu after participating in the culling of fowls in avian-fl u ground zero in San Luis town.

    This, after a 10- day period lapsed last Wednesday since the last day of culling last Aug. 19 at the Sa Luis farms where avian fl u breakout occurred. An Australian laboratory later confirmed that the avian flu was of a strain that could contaminate humans.

    Health Sec. Paulyn Ubial said normal surveillance period in such cases require 10 days, noting that since the last four persons who had developed fl u-like symptoms after culling operations were negative for avian fl u and were discharged from the Jose B. Lingad Hospital (JBL Hospital) here last Monday. They were the last among 39 persons who had developed fl u-related symptoms that called for isolation and examination at the BBL Hospital since the day of culling operations in San Luis.

    The epidemiology department of the DOH regional office here said that no one among those who did culling work in San Luis remained at the JBL Hospital last Aug. 29, the 10th day of the surveillance period.

    In Nueva Ecija, however, the 10-day surveillance for those who participated in the culling of fowls in avian-fl u infected areas in Jaen and San Isidro winds up on Sept. 4 yet, as culling operations in the areas ended only last Aug. 25.

    The Department of Agriculture (DA) reported a total of 592,127 fowls, mostly chicken and quails, were culled arising from avian flu in the towns of San Luis in this province and Jaen and San Isidro in Nueva Ecija.

    In his speech during a recent gathering of provincial, poultry industry and consumer leaders at the hall, Agriculture Sec. Manny Pinol reported that “a total of 421,132 birds were depopulated in affected farms of San Luis, Pampanga.”

    He said the number included those culled in the one-kilometer radius zone totaling 314,736 birds “while voluntary culling in the seven-kilometer controlled zone totaled 106,396 birds.”

    Pinol said the poultry owners in San Luis were given a total of P20.7 million as compensation.

    He also noted that in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, a total of 70,576 birds were depopulated. “One of the farms depopulated is owned by Manuel Ortiz Luis who received P5,516,000.”

    Pinol also reported that in Jaen, 100,421 birds were depopulated, including the quail farms of one Mary Grace Castro who was compensated P209,000 and one Magddalena Nagum who got P149,870.

    “More than 400 police and army personnel, the Bureau of Fore Protection and the Office of Civil Defense helped in the culling operations in the two areas,” he noted.

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