Archive for the Tagum city health officer Dr. Myrna Gazmin Category

NEWS: Tagum has no capacity to detect swine flu virus- city veterinarian

Posted in 20567006, 20567781, Madayag Farms, Mercado Farms in Kapalong, Tagum city health officer Dr. Myrna Gazmin, tagum councilor vicente eliot sr, tagum Dr. Jesus Edullantes with tags , , , , on May 19, 2009 by cha monforte

may 12

TAGUM CITY- The city veterinarian here has admitted that the city government has virtually no capacity to detect whether the dreaded swine flu virus that has already sent some countries cowering in fear has already infected swine breeds produced in the city and in neighboring places.

City veterinarian Dr. Jesus Edullantes during Monday’s session informed City Council members that his department has no such “costly laboratory”  like those in Australia that can conclusively identify swine flu virus.

He said that samples of suspected cases in the provinces are still brought to Manila and then shipped to Australia laboratories where the virus is studied and identified.

“The strains of the virus are varying and always change. It is a new isolated virus,” he said.

He added that the many virus found in swines that could also cause respiratory illness has complicated the difficulties in pinpointing whether it is already the swine flu virus that has infected a swine that is ill.

“We don’t even have no vaccine yet for it,” he said.

Edullantes then lashed out at an unidentified newspaper for sensationalizing a story on swine flu virus inspection in Davao City even as he appealed to the media for caution in their reporting to prevent people from panicking over the virus.

He also bared that city has meat inspectors in the city’s slaughterhouse at Tagum Livestock Center checking up that hogs before they are slaughtered undergo ante-mortem examination to ensure an uninfected meat for public consumption.

But city health officer Dr. Myrna Gazmin, on the other hand, in the session belittled the virus to be “only a theory, a possibility” saying that it is yet under study now by the scientific community and that “even the World Health Organization has not yet made its advisory”.

She bared though that the Davao Regional Hospital in the city as well as the Davao Medical Center in Davao City have already made plans to counter swine flu virus infection.

In the plan, she added, suspected infected persons would only be brought to and treated in government hospitals than in private ones to protect the latter from losing patients.

Meanwhile, Councilor Vicente Eliot Sr called on authorities to still not relax their guard against the entry of the virus despite the negative report on it, citing the scale and magnitude of toll it could exact once it manages to come in to infect local swine population and eventually the populace.

The city veterinary office here estimates that at minimum average some 80 heads of hogs, about 30 percent of which come from the neighboring Kapalong town, are slaughtered daily for city meat consumption,  or about 6,400 kilos of meat from hogs per day end up being sold at Tagum public market, which is also patronized by the neighboring towns in Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte.

About 70 percent of the hogs are grown in the backyard, while the rest of the 30 percent comes from the large-scale commercial piggeries of Madayag Farms in the city and Mercado Farms in Kapalong, Edullantes said. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)