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Candaba mayor bans bird-watching

CANDABA — Mayor Rene Maglanque has banned bird-watching in this Pampanga town famous for bird migration on its wetlands after reports of human transmission of the H5N8 strain of the bird flu.

Maglanque imposed the ban on Monday as part of the local government unit’s efforts to stop the spread of the dreaded avian disease.

Duck breeders were asked to report unusual behavior of their livestock while officials spread information throughout the municipality.

Recently, the World Health Organization revealed that the Russian government has detected human infection of H5N8. The seven workers of a poultry plant were asymptomatic.

“The workers now feel well and the situation did not develop further,” Dr. Anna Popova, head of consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, told The Guardian.

Outbreaks of the same strain were also reported in China, Middle East and north Africa in recent months, but only in poultry.

Other strains of the bird flu, H5N1, H7N9 and H9N2, have been transmitted to humans before.

Cases spread via migrating wild birds. Human infections have been linked to direct contact with infected live or dead poultry. Experts say eating properly cooked bird meat is considered safe.

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