Ministry: Latest bird flu case 'stamped out'
By Zhao Huanxin and Wang Zhenghua (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-27 05:48
The latest outbreak of bird flu, which killed 545 ducks and chickens in
Central China's Hunan Province, has been stamped out, the Ministry of
Agriculture said yesterday.
The third case of the fatal avian influenza in China
reported in a week is suspected to have been caused by virus-carrying waterfowl,
experts said yesterday.
A health worker disinfects a vehicle coming
into the Shebu Township where a bird flu outbreak was reported in
Xiangtan, Central China's Hunan Province Wednesday October 26, 2005.
The contagion, following one in northern Inner Mongolia and another in
eastern Anhui Province, was first detected among 13 household farms in Wantang
Village, Shebu Town of Xiangtan County, last weekend, the county veterinary
The National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory identified the infection as
the deadly H5 subtype avian influenza virus on Tuesday; and the result has been
sent to the World Organization for Animal Health.
"Immediately after the epidemic broke out, Xiangtan County initiated
contingency schemes, culling 2,487 domestic birds within a 3-kilometre radius of
the outbreak site, and vaccinating 43,750 others in the vicinity," the
veterinary bureau said in a statement.
They also implemented control measures including quarantine and disinfection
of infected farms, the Veterinary Bureau under the Ministry of Agriculture said
in a report to the World Organization for Animal Health on Tuesday.
The ministry said it sent a working group to Xiangtan upon receiving a report
of a suspect case from the local government, to guide prevention and control
"No new outbreak site has been found in the province," the ministry said in a
Earlier, Health Minister Gao Qiang said on Tuesday that China has set up a
special department to deal with the situation. "The ministry has established 192
monitoring spots across the country for bird flu; and a strict mechanism is also
in place for surveillance," he reportedly said.
Meanwhile, China is working together with the rest of the world to curb the
epidemic, Gao said.
He said that China has set up effective channels for information sharing with
many other countries, including the United States.
"If there's an outbreak among birds, the Ministry of Agriculture will report
it to international organizations, other nations and the public. If human beings
are infected, the Ministry of Health will make it public," he said.
Gao made the remarks during a press conference while attending a two-day
brainstorming session in Ottawa, Canada, on preventing and preparing for a flu
Health ministers and experts from 30 countries gathered to discuss measures
to ward off a wider spread of the bird flu virus, which experts fear might
mutate into a deadly human pandemic.
Yesterday, European health officials ended a three-day review in Copenhagen
of the continent's readiness to contain a possible flu pandemic, as tests
confirmed the deadly strain of bird flu had reached Croatia. The EU Commission
announced yesterday that the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus, which has killed
more than 60 people in Asia, was found in dead swans in Croatia.
It was detected earlier in birds in Romania, Russia and Turkey, raising fears
it could spread to the rest of Europe.
(China Daily 10/27/2005 page1)