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Australia Confirms Bird Flu Virus In PH Can Be Passed To Humans

There’s no need to panic just yet
by Andrei Medina | Aug 25, 2017
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The Department of Agriculture (DA) has announced that the bird flu strain that affected the Philippines, particularly the provinces of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija, can be transmitted to humans.

The DA said that Australia identified the virus as the H5N6 strain after they sent some samples from infected poultry products. “It was tested positive for N6 which could be transmitted to humans,” Dr. Arlene Vytiaco, from the DA’s National Avian Influenza Task Force said in a press conference.

Vytiaco explained that humans can contract the H5N6 virus through direct exposure to infected animals. “Ang infectious will be the respiratory secretion pati ang kanyang fecal material... Pwede din ang ipot pag natuyo sila that becomes feather dust. So pag ang infected bird nagpagpag ng wings niya you can inhale that,” she said.


But the good news is this particular strain is actually the less dangerous version of the deadlier H5N1 strain. The chances of humans getting the virus are also extremely low.

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According to data from the World Health Organization, there have only been 2 cases of animal to human transmission recorded in the previous year. In terms of mortality rate, less than 20 individuals died due to the H5N6 virus since 2013 and these cases were mostly in China.

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol for his part allayed public fears and said their Department is on top of the situation. “The fact that the farm workers have been there since April and none of them got sick is an assurance that it’s not that that serious,” he said.



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