- Bird Flu Outbreak In China's Hunan Province
By Kim Coghill in Hong Kong and
Judy Hua in Beijing
- (Reuters) -- China has reported deadly bird flu in chickens
and ducks in a village in the central province of Hunan, on the heels of
another outbreak in the east of the country, and declared it had been brought
- China notified the United Nations of the latest outbreak
in Xiangtan County -- near the provincial capital, Changsha -- on Tuesday
[25 Oct 2005], according to a notice on the Web site of the World Organisation
for Animal Health http://www.oie.int
- (Note - OIE is not a UN agency; it is an independent
international organization, established in 1927; its headquarters is located
in Paris. - Mod.AS, ProMed Mail)
- The World Health Organization [WHO] has said the H5N1
strain of bird flu is endemic in poultry in China and across much of Asia,
and it could only be a matter of time before it develops the ability to
pass easily from human to human.
- China has reported no human cases so far.
- An Agriculture Ministry official in Beijing confirmed
the Hunan outbreak but gave no details. The notice said that 687 chickens
and ducks showed signs of illness, 545 had died, and a total of 2487 birds
were culled in the outbreak in Hunan county, also famous in China as Mao
- "The outbreak has been effectively controlled,"
the Agriculture Daily newspaper said, quoting the national bird flu laboratory
as saying it had identified the strain as the deadly H5N1.
- On Tuesday [25 Oct 2005], China reported another outbreak
among farm geese in the eastern province of Anhui and said that it too
had been brought under control with no reported human infections.
- China had also notified Hong Kong of the outbreak, the
government said. The former British colony, which reverted to Chinese sovereignty
in 1997, gets much of its food from the neighboring southern Chinese province
of Guangdong, which borders Hunan.
- Hong Kong does not currently buy any poultry meat or
live birds from Hunan but will bar any such imports from the province as
a precaution, the government added.
- "We will monitor the development of the situation
in the coming weeks," the government said.
- There have been other recent outbreaks in far-western
Xinjiang, Qinghai and in northern Inner Mongolia.
- China administrative map:
- China's sheer size and its attempts to conceal the emergence
of the SARS virus in 2003 have prompted fears among some experts that it
has had more bird flu cases than officially recorded.
- But experts and U.N. officials have said they believe
China is better prepared and more open than in 2003.
- ProMED mail
- [Indeed, China seems to have commendably improved its
transparency. The new outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, sub-type
H5, in Hunan has been reported by China's National Chief Veterinary Officer
to the OIE in a follow-up report No 5, dated 25 Oct 2005, one day after
the previous notification on an outbreak in Anhui. The location of the
new focus is the village Wantang in Xiangtan County.
- See map
- The outbreak involved chickens and ducks; it started
on 22 Oct 2005 and was confirmed by the laboratory on 25 Oct 2005. Diagnosis
was based upon HI, RT-PCR and IPVI tests carried out by the National Avian
Influenza Reference Laboratory, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute. Out
of 687 susceptible birds, 545 died; 2487 birds have subsequently been destroyed.
In response to the outbreak, 43 750 avians have been vaccinated with an
inactivated mono H5N2 vaccine. See the full report at
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
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Diseases" message board.
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