VARIOUS: Philippine health officials take a blood samples from fowl to test them for avian influenza as new outbreaks are reported in AsiaRecord ID: 491330
- Title: VARIOUS: Philippine health officials take a blood samples from fowl to test them for avian influenza as new outbreaks are reported in Asia
- Date: 11th November 2005
- Summary: (ASIA) SINGAPORE (NOVEMBER 11, 2005) (REUTERS) DR. TAN SZE-WEE, CEO ROCKEBY BIOMED CORPORATION TAKING ANAL SWAB OF BIRD (2 SHOTS) MEDICAL EQUIPMENT DR. TAN PLACING SWAB IN LIQUID PHOTOGRAPHER WIDE OF PRESSER SOUNDBITE (English) DR. TAN SZE-WAH SAYING: "It's important that developing countries should have the tools and I think it's important that we should work together with aid agencies to help them" CLOSE UP OF BANNER READING 'LAUNCH OF RAPID BIRD FLU TESTS'
- Reuters ID: LVA1YH5IJFE0F8EAEEQDKMV31AYE
- Location: Philippines, Vietnam, China
- Country: Vietnam Philippines China
- Duration: 00:00:41
- Aspect Ratio:
- Topics: Health
- Story Text: Teams of veterinarians are travelling all over the Philippines to take blood and fecal samples from domestic and game fowl to test them for avian influenza.
Philippines is still bird-flu free but all nations are taking precautions since the disease has been spreading rapidly through migratory birds.
Since 2004 when two dozen marshland and migratory bird sanctuaries were identified as critical, potential bird flu infection sites, the immunisation and disease control division of the Bureau of Animal Industry has been conducting regular blood tests around the country.
On Thursday (November 10) officials tested ducks in Laguna province on the outskirts of Manila.
The area is not included in the priority Avian flu risk areas, but the growing presence of migratory birds in the duck-raising villages there prompted the Bureau of Animal Industry to test the fowl there.
"Basically the farmers, most of them do not know the different diseases of fowl. That's why when there are outbreaks they're frantic. What to do, whether to report it or if they are going to handle it," said Leonilo Resontoc, division chief of the Bureau of Animal Industry, Immunization and Disease Control.
The results will be known in two weeks.
Backyard poultry farmers are open to the idea of testing their fowls from avian flu but do not feel confident government can help them should the virus be found in their farm.
"The random sampling you are doing, what if the result turn out to be positive, and you did nothing to prevent it in the first place. We will be very angry," said backyard duck farmer Alejandro Muya to officials testing the birds.
Although Laguna is a an area known for duck farms, many small-scale farmers bring their ducks from other areas for three months so they can be fed on food fortified with sea shells from the coastal villages. The ducks are transported back to the villages where they came from to be sold.
Veterinarians say the Philippines has not seen any outbreaks because the islands are far from continents and migratory birds need to travel far to get to the country.
In Singapore, Rockeby biomed corporation launched two rapid bird flu testing kits for poultry and humans. The test takes 10-minutes to do and uses anal swabs for birds and throat swabs from humans.
The company aims to sell the test kit to governments and medical aid agencies.
China reported a new outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in poultry in its northeast - the seventh in the country since the beginning October, the government said.
About 300 chicken had died since November 6 (Sunday) in Beining in Liaoning province, where there had already been three outbreaks.
The outbreak has affected four townships and 2.5 million poultry within a radius of 3 km (2 miles) had been culled.
Birds had been vaccinated and the area sealed off and disinfected.
Premier Wen Jiabao warned this week that the country was facing a "very serious situation" as the disease had not been brought under control and was likely to spread.
China has yet to report a human case of bird flu, which has killed more than 60 people in Asia since 2003.
But the World Health Organisation is helping probe a possible human case in Hunan province, which had an outbreak in October.
In Vietnam, which also announced outbreaks, culled 130,000 poultry in Bac Giang province this week. The country's three deputy prime ministers are visiting the infected region to inspect hospitals and other facilities and reinforce efforts to contain the disease.
State media said two people were hospitalised on Tuesday (November 8) in Bac Giang province with fever, coughing and respiratory difficulty.
It said the two patients were suspected of being infected by the H5N1 virus. It said one of the patients had eaten poultry earlier and there were dead birds at the house of the other patient.
Raw blood pudding, live or slaughtered birds have been cleared off Hanoi markets this week and chicken noodle shops have switched to serving beef as consumers avoided poultry after a 35-year-old man in the capital died from the virus.
At least 64 people have died of bird flu since it arrived in Asia in late 2003 and the virus is endemic in several countries.
Although the H5N1 virus cannot now move easily between people, experts fear it could mutate into one which can and set off a pandemic in which millions might die.
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