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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hong Kong : Little egret tests positive for H5 virus

Press release from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" Preliminary testing of a dead little egret found in Tuen Mun has returned a positive result for the H5 avian influenza virus, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (February 9), adding that further confirmatory tests are being conducted.

The carcass of the little egret was found and collected at the northern entrance to Tuen Mun Park, Tuen Mun Heung Sze Wui Road, on February 7. The little egret is a common resident bird in Hong Kong.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department has stepped up cleansing and disinfection at the park.

The spokesman said there are no poultry farms within three kilometres of where the dead bird was found.

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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