Health officials are on high alert after the World Health Organization reported another outbreak of bird flu in China that jumped from chickens to humans.
The Department of Livestock Development said Monday it was keeping a close watch on the spread of the H5N6 avian influenza.
According to the WHO, five cases of H5N6 human infections have been discovered in mainland China, with two people already dead, two in critical condition, and one in serious condition.
The infection cases were found in Sichuan, Zhejiang and the Guangxi Autonomous Region. Four of these patients fell ill after exposure to live domestic poultry while Chinese officials are still conducting an investigation on the fifth case.
Sorawit Thanito, director-general of the DLD, stated that the department is on high alert to prevent bird flu from entering the country and has instructed personnel to keep a close watch on livestock throughout border provinces and maintain preventive measures in their respective areas.
Samples were collected from border locations, migration points, egg-laying areas, and poultry farms for testing, and strict regulations were put in place to ensure the safe transport of poultry goods both domestically and internationally.
Officials have urged live poultry farmers to strengthen their safety protocols by cleaning or sanitizing their farms and surrounding areas at least once a week.
Livestock veterinarians must ensure the safety of these farms by monitoring farm entry, disinfecting vehicles, and encouraging cleaning and spraying disinfectants in high-risk places such as border locations, migration points, egg-laying areas, and densely populated live poultry venues.
The director-general also requests farmers’ assistance in closely monitoring the health of their livestock, and he urges people to quickly notify officials if they detect any unusual symptoms or deaths so that authorities can provide immediate assistance.