China confirms new AI outbreak in poultry

08-06-2006 | |

China has confirmed its first bird flu outbreak in domestic poultry since February, in the western region of Xinjiang.

China’s national bird flu laboratory confirmed the presence of H5N1 in dead birds on Wednesday. The Ministry of Agriculture did not specify the number of poultry infected.

Although a series of bird flu cases have been reported in China among wild birds in recent months, the last official report of an H5N1 outbreak among poultry was in February in the eastern province of Anhui.

The Agriculture Ministry has sent experts to control the outbreak, with officials inspecting and disinfecting people and vehicles passing in and out of the affected area.

China has reported about 40 outbreaks of bird flu in birds across a dozen provinces over the past year. Twelve people are known to have died from the virus and six have survived.

In late May, China said that bird flu killed about 400 wild birds in the remote western Qinghai province and in Tibet.

On Monday, a leading Chinese bird flu specialist said the government should review the effectiveness of measures to control bird flu and intensify efforts to wipe out the disease among birds.

The H5N1 strain of avian influenza has killed 128 people since it began spreading in Asia in late 2003. It also is being blamed for the death or slaughter of some 200 million birds.