Around 35,000 incubated duck eggs were intercepted and confiscated by Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) agents from a port in a Southern Philippine City. The authority suspected that those eggs were infected by bird flu virus – a viral disease caused by different strains of influenza viruses.
Philippines is already in the panic mode after the first case of bird flu was reported on 11 August. Once affected, human beings will have symptoms like conjunctivitis, fever, muscle aches, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and severe respiratory illness.
Quarantine agents of BAI discovered the eggs in wooden crates on board a ship, which was about to dock in Zamboanga in the Southern Philippines. The shipment was traced and it was found that the eggs were arriving from Pampanga Province in the Northern Philippines - a two hour drive from Manila.
According to reports, villagers in Pampanga are falling sick lately and authorities are afraid that it is because of bird flu. The deadly disease has already affected thousands of chickens and fouls in the province. The government is expected to cull 600,000 fouls and chickens in the province upon learning that some fouls were contaminated by the virus.
The BAI was put on alert mode after receiving the information that some chickens, fouls and incubated duck eggs from Pampanga were being shipped to the Southern Philippines. Fortunately, they acted immediately and seized the eggs before it was too late.
Earlier, Philippine agriculture minister, Emmanuel Pinol, also announced that 1,500 eggs were seized from a port in the Central Philippines and 21 metric tons of dressed chickens were also confiscated in Cagayan de Oro, another city in the Southern Philippines.
With the outbreak of the influenza virus in Pampanga, government authorities are very closely monitoring the movement of chickens, fouls and incubated eggs outside the province to prevent the widespread of the disease.