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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Western Visayas on high alert vs. Q fever cases

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Iloilo City — Western Visayas has so far reported zero cases of Q fever, a potentially dangerous disease, according to a recent official statement from the Department of Agriculture-Western Visayas (DA-Western Visayas).

To maintain this status, the DA-Western Visayas is intensifying its animal border protocols, working closely with local government units (LGUs) and personnel from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to ensure that domestic ruminants are well-protected from the disease.

In a proactive move, the agency urges all stakeholders to stay vigilant and strictly adhere to biosecurity measures on their farms.

The DA advises immediate reporting of any sudden animal deaths to city or provincial veterinary offices or municipal agriculture offices. This allows for timely assessment, diagnosis, and control of potential outbreaks.

The Regional Animal Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL) is fully equipped and ready to receive samples for diagnosing conditions such as haemonchosis, fascioliasis, caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAE), pneumonia due to weather changes, and diarrhea and bloat caused by dietary factors.

The DA-Western Visayas has declared a full-alert status to monitor and prevent the entry of Q fever into the region.

A variety of measures are in place to ensure that Western Visayas remains Q fever-free. According to the department’s data, the region ranks fourth nationally in goat inventory, contributing 9.66% or 376,312 of the country’s goats.

In the first quarter of 2024 alone, the region produced 1,483.2 metric tons of goat meat, accounting for 10.36% of the national production, as per data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The heightened vigilance follows an earlier report by the BAI of over 60 goats from the United States testing positive for Q fever at a government breeding station in Marinduque, Pampanga.

This led Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. to issue a temporary importation ban on goats from the US until the source of the virus could be traced.

Q fever, caused by the Coxiella burnetii bacteria, is a zoonotic disease that can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals, their excreta, or body and birthing fluids.

While no cases have been reported in Western Visayas, the region remains on guard to safeguard both animal and public health.

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