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H5N6 avian flu outbreak in Taiwan ends
【Society】2017-07-25  22:12:23
Taipei, July 25 (CNA) The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has officially confirmed that the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N6 virus -- which can be transmitted from birds to humans -- in Taiwan has ended, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said Tuesday.

When Taiwan reported its first confirmed case of the H5N6 avian flu virus in February, the COA immediately formed an ad hoc task force and took measures to combat the spread of the strain of bird flu, said Shih Tai-hwa (施泰華), deputy director-general of the COA's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.

The COA also reported that case to OIE, according to Shih.

The COA has been on high alert since the first confirmed case of the H5N6 virus, which involved a duckling at a farm in eastern Taiwan's Hualien County.

In total, the H5N6 avian flu virus hit 12 farms in four cities and counties in Taiwan, with the last confirmed case reported on March 6 at a duck farm in Hualien, the COA said.

The confirmed H5N6 avian flu virus cases resulted in a culling of nearly 42,000 birds, it added.

Since March 6, Taiwan had not reported any new H5N6 avian flu cases, Shih said.

There have been no H5N6 human infections in Taiwan, according to the COA.

It has been more than three months since Taiwan reported its last H5N6 case, meaning that the threat posed by the virus has ended, which the COA reported to OIE on Monday, Shih said.

OIE confirmed that the H5N6 avian flu outbreak in Taiwan has ended on the same day, he added.

Now the H5N6 outbreak has ended, the COA said it will focus its efforts on tackling potential cases of the H5N2 and H5N8 avian influenza viruses.

(By Yang Shu-min and Elaine Hou)
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