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Tibetan bird flu outbreak 'under control'
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-08-13 07:14

An outbreak of the deadly H5N1-type bird flu has been brought under control in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The outbreak, at a chicken farm in the suburbs of Lhasa, the region's capital, killed 133 birds, there were no human infections.

"China National Bird Flu Reference Laboratory confirmed on August 10 that the H5N1 strain of avian influenza had been found at a chicken farm in Duodi Township, Chengguan District of Lhasa," an official with the regional government said on Friday.

The regional Bureau of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry official, who declined to be identified, said 133 infected birds died of the virus early this month, prompting the culling of 2,608 birds at the farm.

Regional authorities put strict measures in place to prevent the spread of the disease.

"The outbreak has been brought under control," the official said in a telephone interview, adding that animal health experts are investigating how the birds became infected.

No similar cases have been reported in other parts of the plateau region, bureau sources said.

In accordance with requirements for preventing and limiting the highly infectious H5N1 strain of bird flu, the autonomous region has adopted measures such as emergency inoculation of all fowl within 5 kilometres of the suspected outbreak.

Monitoring of all breeding farms in Lhasa has been tightened, and a daily epidemic reporting mechanism put in place.

Up to now, vaccinations for waterfowl have been distributed across Tibet except in Ngari Prefecture, according to the bureau sources.

The Ministry of Agriculture said it had informed the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the world animal health body OIE of the outbreak earlier this week.

It is the second report of the H5N1 virus in China this year following one in May in Qinghai Province.

China successfully brought 50 cases of bird flu under control last year.

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