AUSTRALIA has confirmed the presence of the bird flu virus in Pampanga, where the outbreak was first reported, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.
The laboratory results from the World Organization for Animal Health revealed that the strain was avian influenza type A subtype H5. The same strain the Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) found in its own testing, said Pinol.
Arlene Vytiaco, DA-BAI focal person for avian influenza, said the results verified initial findings in the affected chickens in San Luis town.
“It confirmed our finding at the laboratory. Our test showed that they are positive for avian influenza type A, H5. So our findings are the same as those in Australia,” Vytiaco said.
However, the N subtype is still being verified as samples ran out and tests would take approximately one to three days to perform.
“There is still no N [sub]type because there are not enough samples and it needs to be propagated to conduct further testing, so that would take one to three days,” she said.
“We would like to know the N [subtype]so we will know what sub-type it is, but our activities will be the same. Whether it will be H5 or N7 or 5, our activities will be the same to contain the virus-like culling,” she added.
The H and N stand for Hemagglutinin and Neuraminidase, which are proteins that are found on the surface of the influenza virus. The designations determine the “infectivity” of the virus.
Vytiaco said the strain that hit the chicken in both Pampanga and Nueva Ecija was not a new strain.
“Most likely it is not a new strain,” she said.