H5N6 strain little health risk, poultry products remain safe
The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) today said that the confirmatory test from Australia that identified the avian influenza strain that hit some farms in Central Luzon as only H5N6 should help calm the public that that there is no impending public health crisis in the country.
According to SINAG, this revelation has not changed current government protocols and industry responses with the avian flu.
“Human infection is still next to nil; our chickens and other poultry products remain as safe as ever to eat. There is no health risk in eating our favorite sunny side-ups, lechon manoks, kwek-kweks and baluts,” SINAG said.
Citing the assessment of the World Health Organization (WHO), human infections with the H5N6 virus seem to be sporadic with no ongoing human-to-human transmission and the risk of international disease spread is considered low.
There is likewise no recommendation of any travel and trade restrictions to countries with the said virus.
“Public health experts and animal health specialists have recommended the downgrading of avian influenza as animal disease, with low probability of transmission to people working in poultry farms or individuals dealing with live birds,” SINAG added.
“Avian influenza is not something new; what is important is that both the industry and government are prepared with the proper quarantine guidelines and bio-security protocols,” it added.