MALACANANG on Saturday urged the public to be watchful and prepare to tackle any signs of bird flu infection in humans.
Piñol said that while the source of the disease and the strain of avian flu is not yet clear, tests indicate that there has been no animal-to-human transmission of the disease.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, in a statement, assured the public that the government is closely monitoring the situation in Pampanga.
Meanwhile, wet market sellers such as those in the Balintawak market reported a decline in sales by as much as 50 percent, as buyers are shying away from chicken due to the bird flu scare, despite assurances that their supplies come from poultry farms outside of Pampanga.
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Abella advised residents near the affected areas showing symptoms of flu to immediately go to their local health center or nearest thospital for laboratory tests.
Abella noted that the Department of Health is assisting the DA in avian flu investigation and containment activities, which include flu vaccinations and protective equipment for poultry handlers and responders.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol did not hesitate to announce the outbreak when he addressed the Luzon Mango Stakeholders Forum at the Sison Auditorium in Lingayen on Friday based on the confirmation made by by an Avian Flu Monitoring Task Force from his office.
"We understand the anxiety or fear of the public but please remember this, we don't eat raw chicken and as long as we cook it, we are protected against any bacteria, viruses that may have contaminated it", Health Assistant Secretary Dr. Enrique Tayag said in an interview with ANC.
"The DOH assures our people that avian flu is transferred via respiratory routes".