New bird flu case reported in Yunlin - Focus Taiwan

New bird flu case reported in Yunlin

Taipei, June 2 (CNA) The Council of Agriculture (COA) confirmed Thursday a new bird flu case involving a chicken farm in Taixi Township, Yunlin County.

Test results showed that some chickens on the farm were infected with a new highly pathogenic strain of the H5N2 avian influenza virus, and all 10,356 animals there have been culled to prevent the virus from spreading, according to the COA's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.

Since Jan. 1, 37 poultry farms around Taiwan have been confirmed to have been infected with the new strain of the H5 virus, including three in May, when the weather began to heat up, the bureau said.

Lee Shu-hui (李淑慧), head of the Animal Drug Inspection Branch under the COA's Animal Health Research Institute, said after a major epidemic of the new strain of the H5 virus in Taiwan last year, sporadic infections have continued to be detected this year because some remnants of the virus still remain in the environment.

Continued bird flu outbreaks in the summer may also be related to the practice of raising chickens indoors, she said.

(By Yang Shu-min and Y.F. Low)ENDITEM/ke

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