The dreaded bird flu is back!

Avian influenza is back, with its first case reported in Hong Kong a few days ago. Airport authorities are now reportedly tightening security and taking all possible precautionary measures to keep the disease from entering Philippine territory.

With this, Senate Agriculture and Food Committee chair Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan urged the government and even the private sector to work together to monitor the country’s farms and ensure that the deadly disease does not affect Filipino citizens.

“Nananawagan po tayo sa lahat ng sangay ng gobyerno, pati na sa ating mga kasama sa agrikultura, na maging mapagmatyag laban sa bird flu. Kailangan nating bantayan ang ating mga manukan at i-report ang anumang mga senyales ng bird flu sa ating mga alagang manok at maging sa ating mga mamamayan.”

According to medical websites, bird flu symptoms include regular flu symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough, headache, and aching muscles. Its complications are “potentially fatal”, including: eye infections, pneumonia (including viral pneumonia), acute respiratory distress, brain and heart inflammation.

“We may have been spared, but we must not be complacent,” stressed Pangilinan. “This is a deadly disease and we must do everything that we can to protect our citizens. We can’t count on luck to spare us.”

“We also ask the cooperation of all our poultry farmers to report incidences of bird flu in your vicinities. This is not to kill your business but to safeguard public safety.” (press release from the Office of Senator Kiko Pangilinan)

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