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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hong Kong : Oriental magpie robin tests positive for H5 virus

Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection had a busy day today. One of the many press releases from them. This one with regards to H5 positive magpie robin, excerpt :

" Preliminary testing of a dead Oriental magpie robin found in Tin Shui Wai has returned a positive result for the H5 avian influenza virus, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (December 20), adding that further confirmatory tests are being conducted.

The bird's carcass was found and collected at Ju Ching Chu Secondary School (Yuen Long), 5 Tin Wu Road, Tin Shui Wai, on December 17. The Oriental magpie robin is a common resident bird in Hong Kong.

The AFCD has reminded the school to step up cleansing and disinfection.

The spokesman said that two chicken farms are within 3 kilometres of where the bird was found. AFCD staff inspected the farms and found no abnormal mortality or symptoms of avian influenza among the chicken flocks. These farms will be put under enhanced surveillance.

In view of the case, the AFCD has phoned poultry farmers to remind them to strengthen precautionary and biosecurity measures against avian influenza. Letters have been issued to farmers, pet bird shop owners and licence holders of pet poultry and racing pigeons reminding them that proper precautions must be taken.

The spokesman said the department would conduct frequent inspections of poultry farms and the wholesale market to ensure that proper precautions against avian influenza have been implemented. The department will continue its wild bird monitoring and surveillance."

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