Bird Flu – What you need to know

QUEZON City, Philippines – The Province of San Luis, Pampanga was placed under a state of calamity last Friday, August 11, due to a confirmed outbreak of avian influenza virus (bird flu) that has killed almost 40,000 poultry animals.

Last Monday,  August 14, the Department of Agriculture or DA  targeted for slaughter more than 200,000 poultry heads such as chicken, ducks, quails, pigeons and fighting cocks as part of the government’s precautionary measure to cut the spread of the virus.

Avian influenza– informally known as bird flu– refers to influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds. The type with the greatest risk is highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

“Bird flu” is a phrase similar to “swine flu,” “dog flu,” “horse flu,” or “human flu” in that it refers to an illness caused by any of many different strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host. Out of the three types of influenza viruses (A, B, and C), influenza A virus is a zoonotic infection with a natural reservoir found almost entirely in birds.

Here are some quick facts about the viral flu and ways to prevent it: