THE PROVINCES of Camariñes Sur and Davao del Sur have tested negative for H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) or bird flu, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA). 

In March, grazing ducks from both provinces tested positive for the virus.  

Upon detection of the disease, the local government units, in coordination with DA and the Bureau of Animal Industry, conducted disease investigation, immediate depopulation, cleaning and disinfection, movement restrictions and surveillance in the affected premises,the department said in a circular.  

The results of subsequent disease monitoring in the one-kilometer and 7-km surveillance zones of the two provinces yielded negative test results for influenza type A virus.   

According to the World Organization of the Animal Health, the Avian Influenza-free status of a previously free country or zone may be regained based on three conditions: after a minimum period of 28 days after a stamping-out policy has been completed; disinfection of the last affected establishment was carried out; and that consequent surveillance demonstrated the absence of infection.  

Prior to the confirmation of the first case of HPA1 H5N1 in Camariñes Sur and Davao del Sur, they had been free from avian influenza in poultry through applying effective disease control measures such as stamping out, cleansing and disinfection and other quarantine activities,the DA said. Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson