By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

File photo

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday it is implementing preventive measures against the H3N8 bird influenza, together with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

This was after a woman in China became the first person to die from the avian influenza strain.

The woman was 56 years old and from the southern province of Guangdong.

According to the World Health Organization, she was the third person known to have been infected with the H3N8 avian influenza since last year.

“Sa ngayon, wala pa tayo naitatala, wala tayong nakikitaan ng sintomas dito sa Pilipinas (Currently, we haven’t logged any case or anyone with symptoms here in the Philippines),” DOH Officer in Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a media forum.

She said the DOH, DA, and DENR have strengthened the preventive measures, monitoring, and surveillance to keep possible cases of avian influenza at bay.

“Especially among our poultry workers kung saan ‘yung proper na personal protective equipment ay nagagamit nila (where they use the proper personal protective equipment),” she said.

To track the possible transmission of the flu strain from birds to humans, Vergeire said, the DA and DENR are monitoring poultry and wild birds, respectively.

“This transmission from avians to humans remains very low even here in the Philippines… based on our discussions, talagang mababa po ang risk natin (the risk is really low) for humans to get this kind of infection,” she said. (PNA)