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New bird flu outbreak in Hunan confirmed
Updated: 2005-10-26 10:06

A bird flu outbreak has killed 545 chickens and ducks in central China and prompted authorities to destroy 2,487 others, the government said Tuesday.

And Hong Kong health authorities said Tuesday that it has suspended imports of poultry and poultry meat from Hunan province.

It was China's third reported bird flu outbreak in a week.

New bird flu outbreak in Hunan confirmed
Health workers disinfect vehicles coming out of Bayan township near Hohhot in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region October 24, 2005, following the deaths of 2,600 birds from H5N1 bird flu strain in a farm there last week. [China Daily]
The latest cases occurred in a village in Hunan province, the government's top veterinary bureau said in a report and posted on the Web site of the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health.

The outbreak in the village of Wantang occurred Saturday and was confirmed Tuesday, the report said.

An outbreak last week killed 2,600 chickens and ducks in the northern region of Inner Mongolia. Another this week killed about 500 geese in the eastern province of Anhui.

There have been no reports of human cases in China.

Following the Anhui outbreak, the government told the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization that it destroyed 45,000 birds living nearby and vaccinated 140,000 others.

In Hong Kong, the health, welfare and food authoritiest said Tuesday that the special administrative region has suspended the imports of poultry and poultry meat from Hunan Province since bird flu outbreak in the province had been confirmed.

A spokesman for the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau (HWFB) announced that in view of a confirmed H5N1 avian influenza outbreak in Hunan Province, Hong Kong had suspended the processing of applications for the importation of poultry and poultry meat from Hunan Province with immediate effect.

"The HWFB received notification from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Mainland this afternoon, of a H5N1 avian influenza outbreak among poultry in a village in Hunan Province. We understood that a total of 687 chickens and ducks showed signs of illness, of which 545 died," the spokesman said.

The spokesmen said there were no imports of poultry meat and live birds from Hunan Province but should there be any such applications, they would be withheld from processing of them for the time being to ensure food safety.

In addition, the spokesman noted that there had been avian influenza cases in Turkey, Romania and Croatia. He added that there had been no imports of live birds or poultry meat from these three countries into Hong Kong since no import protocols had been established for the importation from these sources.

Bird flu has killed more than 60 people and resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of chickens in Asia since surfacing in 2003.

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