New bird flu case reported in Liaoning
Updated: 2005-11-11 11:48
China has reported the fourth bird flu outbreak in a northeastern province in
the past two weeks amid fears that counterfeit flu vaccines being sold there
might be worsening the public health threat.
The report on Friday brought the total number of outbreaks reported by China
in the latest round of cases to seven.
The outbreak Sunday killed 300 chickens in Beining, a village near Jinzhou, a
city in Liaoning province, the Agriculture Ministry said in a report on the Web
site of the Paris-based International Organization for Animal Health. It said
officials destroyed 2.5 million birds to contain the virus.
Liaoning has reported three other outbreaks since Nov. 3 -- two on farms near
Jinzhou and the other near the city of Fuxin.
China earlier warned that counterfeit vaccines were being sold in Liaoning,
raising the possibility that millions of chickens, ducks and other birds weren't
"Quite clearly, there's a major problem in Liaoning, and it seems from what
the Chinese are saying this has to do with using shoddy, inferior or maybe fake
vaccines for poultry," a World Health Organization spokesman, Peter Cordingley,
in comments broadcast Thursday by Hong Kong's Cable TV.
"And what we have now, almost certainly, we think, is sick chickens who are
showing no symptoms, and that is very, very bad. They are silent carriers of the
virus," he said.
China hasn't reported any human infections in this round of outbreaks, but
experts say one is inevitable with so many cases in poultry.
Chinese authorities quarantined 116 people after outbreaks Sunday in Jinzhou
and Fuxin killed 1,100 chickens, the Agriculture Ministry said Thursday.
The first case in Jinzhou on Oct. 26 prompted officials to destroy more than
6 million birds.
On Thursday, state television showed government workers in white protective
suits and masks spraying disinfectant on chicken coops and farm buildings.
One man was shown pouring a bag of chalky, white disinfect on the ground
where dead chickens were buried. Others sprayed disinfectant on car tires and
China has also reported outbreaks in poultry in the Inner Mongolia region in
the north, and in the provinces of Anhui in the east and Hunan in central China.
H5N1 first appeared in Hong Kong in 1997 but was curbed when authorities
destroyed all poultry in the territory. It re-emerged in December 2003, and has
recently spread from Asia to Europe.
Meanwhile, WHO is sending experts to Hunan to help investigate whether bird
flu caused a 12-year-old girl's death and two illnesses in an area hit by an
outbreak in poultry last month, said Roy Wadia, a spokesman in Beijing for the
Chinese officials earlier said those three people tested negative for the