Western Visayas is on high alert due to the detection of Type A H5N1 avian influenza (bird flu) cases.

Five samples from a backyard farm that is engaged in egg-laying business in Roxas City, Capiz tested positive for the highly pathogenic virus.

The tests were conducted by the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) on Dec. 2.

In a statement, engineer Jose Albert A. Barrogo, DA-6 OIC regional executive director, said the area, “as of the moment,” has been contained and disinfected by the authorities.

“Upcoming activities related to avian influenza prevention and control measures are in place to assure the public for safety,” he added.

Meanwhile, the DA-6 is closely monitoring all avian influenza critical areas in the region, particularly in Ajuy, Sara, Concepcion, and Dumangas, in Iloilo; Sibalom, Antique; Sipalay, Negros Occidental; Brgy. Bugnay, Jordan, Guimaras, and some areas in Aklan and Capiz.

“Remaining five provinces are encouraged to strengthen their biosecurity measures, activate their respective Provincial Task Force on Avian Influenza and issue pertinent executive orders on this matter,” said Barrogo.

“We encourage everyone to report immediately in your respective nearest Municipal Agriculture Offices or Provincial Veterinary Offices for any unusual death of poultry in your locality,” he added.IMT