Laotian Authorities Report High-Path Bird Flu

by 5m Editor
17 September 2008, at 8:26a.m.

LAO - Authorities in Lao have notified the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about two new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in their country.

The authorities report that there were two new related outbreaks in the north of Laos, first confirmed on 4 September this year.

The first case was in Luangprabang province in a group of ducklings in a small commercial unit within a village with backyard poultry. They were purchased on 20 August 2008 and started to die on 27 August 2008 (about 4 per cent, increasing to 10 per cent per day). The farmer reported it to the district officer on 1 September. Samples were confirmed to be positive for HPAI H5N1 on 4 September 2008. A total of 197 birds died and the rest of the flock (5422 birds) was culled on 4 September 2008. Culling within the one-kilometre radius zone around the control zone started on 5 September and completed on 12 September.

The second case, in Oudomxay, was discovered due to back tracing from earlier outbreak. A surveillance zone of 5-kilometre radius was drawn around the suspected farm where the positive ducklings in Nambak originated, even though no positive animals were found on that farm. Very low daily mortality (2 per cent) was reported during disease investigation - a total of 23 deaths from a flock of 1170. It is reported that culling was carried out although the data on number are missing from the report. Investigation on that farm is reportedly on-going.

Both outbreaks have been confirmed as being caused by the H5N1 strain of HPAI virus.

There had been no reported outbreaks of HPAI in Laos since February 2008.

5m Editor