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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Philippines : Don't touch wild birds

Article via Phil Star :

" Environment Secretary Ramon Paje today warned the public, particularly bird lovers, from "touching" wild birds to avoid infection from the deadly bird flu virus.

“Enjoy the sight of birds flying freely up in the sky or frolicking in seashores; do not touch them,” Paje advised migratory and wild birds' enthusiasts.

Quoting medical reports, Paje said that the deadly bird flu can be easily transmitted through inhalation or direct contact with discharges or feces of infected birds. Thus, he advised the public to contend themselves with watching the birds from afar.

“We don’t want to be alarmist, but it is better to err on the side of caution and keep the country and our people safe from the virus,” Paje said, noting that the new mutant strain of the virus has been found in the Philippines' neighboring countries China and Vietnam.

The environment chief made the appeal in the wake of a recent report of the United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) on the “possible major resurgence” of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) with signs of a mutant strain of the H5N1 virus.

The report also indicated that the H5N1 virus is already making inroads to Asia and other parts of the world with unpredictable risks to human health and the poultry industry."

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