BIRDS FOR SALE. Unaware of the avian flu virus that led to the killing of thousands of chickens and other fowls in Luzon, this woman sells these wild birds at P200 each in Cagayan de Oro City. Experts suspected the avian flu was transported from one area to another through migratory birds. (Jigger J. Jerusalem/

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial reiterated the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) declaration that the country remains free from cases of avian flu transmission to humans.

“For now, there is no avian flu here. It has been declared by Department of Agriculture as stamped out or controlled,” Ubial told reporters here on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Earlier, DA Secretary Emmanuel Piňol confirmed the outbreak of the H5N6 flu in Pampanga after a series of laboratory tests conducted by the Animal Disease Detection Laboratory. An outbreak was announced in Nueva Ecija a week after.

Despite this, Ubial assured that all poultry personnel involved in culling undergo a ten-day observation period to monitor if they have developing signs and symptoms of the flu.

She said about 600 cullers in Pampanga are under quarantine until Sept. 3.

There are at least 39 cullers that showed flu-like symptoms but eventually tested negative of the virus, she added.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Animal Industry stressed that while the Influenza A virus subtype H5N6 can be transmitted to humans, the rate of its transmission to humans is very low. (

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