Bird Flu in China sickens 2,100 geese
Updated: 2005-10-25 15:04
A bird flu outbreak sickened 2,100 geese in eastern China and killed about a
quarter of them — the country's second outbreak reported in a week, a U.N.
official said Tuesday.
A Chinese vendor prepares a chicken for a
customer at a poultry market in Beijing October 25, 2005. China has
reported a fresh outbreak of bird flu as fears grow across the world of an
impending pandemic, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday.
The Agriculture Ministry confirmed Monday that the birds died of the H5N1
virus near Tianchang, a city in Anhui province, said Noureddin Mona, the China
representative for the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.
The ministry did not say where or when the geese were infected, Mona said.
A report to the World Organization for Animal Health, posted on the group's
Web site, said the outbreak, detected Oct. 20, affected chickens and geese. It
did not specify which kind of birds were infected with the virus. It said
140,000 birds had been vaccinated and that quarantines and other precautions
According to Mona, about 45,000 birds have been culled within a three-mile
radius of the site.
"The situation is not only in China but in Asia," he said. "There's no
question about its seriousness."
Bird flu has killed at least 61 people and tens of millions of chickens in
Asia since surfacing in 2003. Most recently, Russia, Turkey, Britain and Romania
have reported the disease in birds.
China has not reported any human infections.
Officials began stepping up preventive measures last week after H5N1 killed
2,600 chickens and ducks in a breeding facility in China's northern region of
Inner Mongolia, sparking fears that the virus might spread to humans.
Health experts have warned that H5N1 could mutate into a form that can be
easily transmitted between humans and cause a global pandemic that could kill
The main cause of human infections is direct contact with poultry in
slaughtering, butchering or cooking, or surfaces contaminated by their
droppings, health officials say.
There is no evidence that properly cooked chicken or eggs can sicken people.
Chinese officials have been more aggressive in responding to bird flu
outbreaks, though international experts are urging a rapid response and strong