Transmission dynamics and control strategies assessment of avian influenza A (H5N6) in the Philippines

Due to the outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (HPAI) H5N6 in the Philippines (particularly in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija) in August 2017, there has been an increase in the need to cull the domestic birds to control the spread of the infection. However, this control method poses a negative impact on the poultry industry. In addition, the pathogenicity and transmissibility of the H5N6 in both the birds and the humans remain largely unknown which call for the necessity to develop more strategic control methods for the virus. In this study, we constructed a mathematical model for the bilinear and half-saturated incidence to compare their corresponding effect on transmission dynamics of H5N6. The simulations of half-saturated incidence model were similar to what occurred during the H5N6 outbreak (2017) in the Philippines. Instead of culling the birds, we implemented other control strategies such as non-medicinal (personal protection and poultry isolation) and medicinal (poultry vaccination) ways to prevent, reduce, and control the rate of the H5N6 virus transmission. Among the proposed control strategies, we have shown that the poultry isolation strategy is still the most effective in reducing the infected birds.