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Bird Flu Hits Guangdong Province

by 5m Editor
18 June 2008, at 3:39p.m.

CHINA - State press have said that authorities in southern China have begun destroying poultry after bird flu was detected to stop the disease from spreading, according to The Straits Times.

The article reports a statement from the Xinhua news agency that the outbreak was confirmed by the agriculture ministry as the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the avian flu virus. Poultry started to die in in Jiangmen city, Guangdong province, last week.

Nearly 3,900 ducks have died and a further 17,000 birds have been culled due to fears that they could be carrying the virus, the report said.

The government has ordered measures to contain the outbreak and to disinfect the area, the report added. Preliminary efforts show that the 'epidemic has been effectively contained,' it stated.

The outbreak in Guangdong comes after the H5N1 virus was found in a market in neighbouring Hong Kong, prompting the city to ban all live poultry imports from China on 7 June.

Live poultry imports from mainland China would be suspended for 21 days while an investigation was carried out, officials in Hong Kong said.

Hong Kong was the scene of the world's first reported major bird flu outbreak among humans in 1997, when six people died.

H5N1 has killed more than 200 people and ravaged poultry flocks worldwide since 2003, according to the World Health Organization.

Scientists fear the virus will eventually mutate into a form that is much more easily transmissible between humans, triggering a global pandemic.

China has had several bird flu outbreaks this year, and three Chinese people have died from the virus so far in 2008, according to earlier reports and The Straits Times.

Further Reading

- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

5m Editor