DOH doctors deployed for Avian Flu outbreak investigation

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A team of epidemiologists from the Department of Health (DOH) has been deployed to help the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the investigation of this Avian Flu outbreak in Pamapanga.

“The Department of Health is closely monitoring the events surrounding an Avian Flu outbreak in poultry in Pampanga,” the DOH said in a statement Saturday.

On Friday, the DA confirmed the first cases of the dreaded virus in Pampanga. The DA said the virus was found in chickens and ducks in six farms in San Agustin, San Luis, Pampanga. To prevent the spread of the virus, some 400,000 captive flocks within the area would be destroyed.

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“A team of DOH epidemiologists has been dispatched to assist the DA in the outbreak investigation,” it added.

The DOH has also been alerting hospitals in the affected areas to report similar cases.

“The DOH has stepped-up the human flu like-illness surveillance since the reported human influenza outbreaks in Hongkong and India few months back and will now look for human cases who may have been exposed to Avian Flu strain in affected areas. Any person who becomes sick with fever and/or sore throat/cough and had exposure to these dead chickens should report to the local health center or nearest hospital for laboratory confirmation,” the DOH stated.

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Meanwhile, the agency assured that health authorities can confirm cases of crosss infection to human; as well as to handle the infection should there be cases of human influenza.

“The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine has the capacity to confirm these cases. The DOH will coordinate efforts with DA, FAO and WHO to prevent human cases. The DOH has supply of anti-flu medication and commodities whenever regional health offices and hospitals will require these,” the DOH said.

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