Local Ducks Tagged As Potential Carriers of H5N1 Virus

Local Ducks Tagged As Potential Carriers of H5N1 Virus

Ducks can also play their part in spreading the avian influenza virus, as the Bird Flu Task Force of the Department of Agriculture has kept them in the category of potential birds that can carry the H5N1 virus.

As per Dr. Romeo Manalili of the Department of Agriculture, ducks can be the potential source of bird flu as they could be infected with the virus by coming in contact with other infected birds or by perching on the same land where there is also existence of infected birds. Thus, they in turn can spread the disease to other birds or humans they come in contact with.

The big problem is that the ducks do not clearly depict the symptoms of being infected with the virus. This could transmit virus in migratory bird they interact with.

Duck breeding is a major occupation in Candaba, Pampanga and there migratory birds and ducks graze in same areas.

The Bird Flu Task Force of Region 3 is monitoring duck farms two times a year all over the region specifically in Candaba, in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, and Puerto Rivas in Bataan, where there is found high contact between ducks and migratory bird.

The team members, including doctors and livestock inspectors, take blood and stool samples of ducks to examine the prevalence of virus. The screening will help in crushing the spread of the virus by identifying infected birds and their sources.

"If there is an unusual death or if the birds start display strange behavior, report it to us immediately. Time is of the essence here", said Dr. Manalili.

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