Friday, January 20, 2006

Hong Kong reports bird flu case

Hong Kong officials are scouring markets for any infected bird meat after discovering the H5N1 strain of avian influenza in a dead robin. Reseach teams were also scouring the area near and around the area where the magpie robin was discovered. The village, Tai Po, is located in the rural New Territories area bordering mainland China.

A spokesman for the agricultural department said, “We want to remind the store owners to pay more attention to hygiene and avoid direct contact with birds,”. Samples of feces were taken from some birds to test for the Bird flu virus. The Chinese Secretary of Health, York Chow, said that thorough searches for other dead birds in the Tai Po village would continue.

“What we are mostly concerned about is whether other birds have also been infected,” Health Secretary York Chow said. Magpie Robins are very common in southern China. In 1997 the H5N1 strain of avian influenza caused the infection of 18 people, 6 of whom died. This also resulted in the total culling(slaughter and disposal), of all chickens and removal of all chicken meat to try and put a stop to the virus.

The discovery of the bird flu in Hong Kong came as no surprise to some experts. Legislator Kwok Ka-ki said, “I knew it would come sooner or later, we were just waiting for it to happen. It’s unavoidable,”. One of the problems is that eating freshly-killed poultry is a tradition in Southern China, so cages of live fowl, Birds, Turkeys, Ducks etc, are keep at the local markets.

Posted by john T. on 01/20 at 01:33 PM
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