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Bird flu breaks out in Shanxi
posted by admin on 21/06/06

China has recorded more than 30 incidents of bird flu since last October

A new outbreak of bird flu has been discovered in north China's Shanxi Province, the Ministry of Agriculture said yesterday.

The disease was confirmed after an undisclosed number of chickens died on poultry farms in Changzi County.

The deadly H5N1 strain of the disease was found in poultry samples that were sent to the national bird flu laboratory for testing, the ministry said.

The local government has quarantined the infected area as part of its emergency response plan. Veterinarians and technicians have begun disinfection operations and are culling the poultry in the area to prevent possible new outbreaks. There was no word on how many birds would be killed in the controlled slaughter.

The local veterinary department has stepped up publicity campaigns to teach residents how to protect themselves against the virus.

The Ministry of Agriculture sent a team of experts to Changzi and reported the case to international organizations.

China has recorded more than 30 incidents of bird flu since last October. The last outbreak occurred in the remote Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region early this month. It was contained within two days, the government said.

A human case of bird flu was confirmed on June 15 in Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong Province, bringing the country's total human infections to 19, including 12 deaths.

China's chief veterinary officer, Jia Youling, warned last week that the virus is on the rise among migratory birds this year.

Nearly 1,170 migratory birds had been found dead in Qinghai and Tibet by June 1. The disease was striking more species this year than last, Jia said.

The official noted that the Ministry of Agriculture is targeting migration paths for future supervision, especially in areas with a record of infection.

In a separate development, the Hong Kong government decided to stop poultry imports from the Chinese mainland last Thursday after the human case of avian flu was confirmed in Shenzhen.

In addition, the Hong Kong Hospital Authority started a three-week enhanced surveillance program following notification of the Shenzhen case from the Guangdong Health Department.


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