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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:03 pm 
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Media reports cite H5N8 and H5N2 in Taiwan have increased to 14.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:03 pm 
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Bird flu cases found at 14 different sites

By Zane Kheir ,The China Post
January 13, 2015, 12:00 am TWN

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A total of 14 separate locations in Taiwan reported that they have chickens and waterfowl infected with the new strains of H5N2 and H5N8 bird flu yesterday, according to the Council of Agriculture (COA).

COA Director of Animal Health Hsu Jung-pin (徐榮彬) stated that the ministry dispatched workers to disinfect poultry farms, particularly heavily hit ones in Kaohsiung City (高雄市) and Pingtung County (屏東縣). Kaohsiung City has a total of 490 poultry farms, of which 97 raise ducks and geese, each having stock of approximately 550 birds each.

The Centers for Disease Control (疾管署) stated that there is still no evidence of humans catching bird flu, and that among the 234 farm owners in Yunlin, Chiayi and Pingtung Counties, only 3 have symptoms such as coughing, runny noses and sore throats. There is no evidence that those symptoms are in any way related to bird flu.

The Kaohsiung City Government assembled an emergency response team yesterday to prevent further transmission of the bird flu to waterfowl. Kaohsiung City Deputy Mayor Wu Hung-mou (吳宏謀) requested that local authorities closely monitor all access points for livestock.

Nantou County Chairman Lin Ming-chen (林明溱) stated yesterday that no sign of bird flu has been discovered in Nantou County. Lin stated that he is seeking funding for special disinfection stations, and agricultural inspectors will impose fines on farmers using manure from chicken excrement.

The head of Keelung's (基隆市) animal disease control center, Chen Jui-pin (陳瑞濱), stated yesterday that three chicken farms in Keelung's Qidu District (七堵區) and one in Zhongshan District (中山區), each with approximately 500 chickens, are all part of the low-risk bird flu zone and have yet to take necessary precautions.

Chen explained that the animal disease control center decided to send veterinarians to each of the four chicken farms to enforce a higher level of monitoring for bird flu and related diseases. Chen also suggested that chickens should not be purchased or transported from other counties into the local area in order to minimize the risk of a nationwide epidemic.

Chen explained that H5N2 bird flu's potency and level of transmission is measured by the level of pathogens found within poultry. There is currently no evidence suggesting that this disease can be directly transmitted to humans, according to Chen. The animal disease control center advises that those who are concerned about being exposed to bird flu should avoid direct contact with live chickens and their excrement. Those around animals should frequently wash their hands and maintain personal hygiene. For disinfecting objects at home, the center recommends using a mix of bleach and water for thorough disinfection.

'6 Nos, 3 Musts' to Protect Personal Health

The Keelung Health Bureau (基隆衛生局) chief, Wu Tse-cheng (吳澤誠), stated yesterday that citizens should abide by “6 Nos and 3 Musts” to ensure their health even though there is still no evidence that H5N2 and H5N8 are contagious for humans. Wu recommends that people should not go near, touch or feed any birds or purchase and eat any meat of unknown origin. In addition, the bureau discourages personally slaughtering poultry or handling raw poultry or eggs.

Wu advised that individuals coming in contact with raw meat or eggs should wash their hands thoroughly with soap. Any poultry that is consumed should be cooked well for at least 30 minutes at a minimum temperature of 60 degrees. Finally, the bureau recommends a balanced diet with exercise and sufficient sleep to minimize the risk of getting sick. Wu gave a reminder that anyone showing symptoms of fever, cough or other illnesses should wear a face mask and consult a physician as soon as possible.

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/nati ... rd-flu.htm

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:13 pm 
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Tue, Jan 13, 2015
Nearly 13,000 birds culled to curb avian flu outbreak

FOULED:An official cited porous farm barriers as a likely channel of transmission, as they could have allowed infected migratory birds to infect local poultry with the virus

By Sean Lin / Staff reporter

Workers spray Liberty Square in Taipei yesterday as 14 more facilities around Taiwan reported the possible presence of a new bird flu strain amid an ongoing outbreak.
Photo: CNA
Local authorities have finished carrying out poultry exterminations at six farms confirmed to have been struck by avian influenza subtypes H5N2 and H5N8, with about 12,945 geese and ducks culled in total, the Council of Agriculture said yesterday, ordering farms nationwide to suspend butchering waterfowls until noon tomorrow.
The transportation of poultry is also being halted, while all the vehicles, cages and containers used at butcheries and poultry farms are to be thoroughly disinfected, Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Director-General Chang Su-san (張淑賢) said at a news conference in Taipei.
Chang said that originally, about 8,500 geese and 7,000 layer ducks had been targeted for extermination, but more than 3,000 geese died from H5N2 infections before the cull began.
Meanwhile, the bureau said that as of noon yesterday, it had received reports of suspected virus-induced poultry deaths from 14 additional facilities, including a goose farm in Changhua County. The Changua case put the total number of regions thought to be affected to five, including Yunlin, Chiayi and Pingtung counties, as well as Greater Tainan.
Chang said the avian influenza outbreaks have so far only affected waterfowl, with geese accounting for the vast majority of casualties.
“Few fatalities have been reported among ducks. The effect H5N2 has on ducks is that it greatly reduces their egg yields, to virtually zero,” she said.
Chang reiterated that both the H5N2 and H5N8 strains are new to the nation — the former being a “restructured” version of the H5N2 subtype previously found in Taiwan and bearing the genome sequences of both H5N2 and H5N8, while the H5N8 strain was likely transmitted from South Korea by migratory birds, the major means of transmission for avian flu.
She said that inadequate protective measures at feeding sites on the affected farms were likely a factor in the outbreak, because they could have allowed migratory birds carrying the viruses to come into contact with the poultry. Chang urged farm administrators to redouble disease prevention efforts by setting up nets around their facilities, especially around feeding sites.
“In the future, farm owners who do not cover their facilities with nets and fail to make the necessary improvements after a given period of time will not be granted compensation in the event of an avian influenza outbreak,” she said.
Chang rejected speculation about a cover-up that have been circulating academic and media circles, after independent journalist and filmmaker Kevin Lee (李惠仁) said on Facebook that council officials were “concealing” the reality of the situation, thereby giving rise to the large-scale outbreaks. She said that all the inspections the authority carried out since last month in response to reports of possible infections followed standing operating procedure.
Meanwhile, Animal Husbandry Department division head Chiang Wen-chuan (江文全) said the supply chain has been unaffected by the outbreak and that the wholesale price of geese has remained stable in spite of the situation.
Duck Association secretary-general Lee Hung-chung (李鴻忠) attributed the outbreaks to a slow response from poultry farmers, saying that many did not recognize the symptoms of their birds — which reportedly began to show as early as late October last year — as those caused by avian flu because they are not the traditional carriers of the virus.
“With all the literature published in the US and all the veterinarians in Taiwan saying that waterfowl are carriers of the avian flu, who would have thought that they would become victims as well?” he said.
The insufficiency of the compensation the council offers to farmers in the event of outbreaks — 60 percent of the poultry’s market price — also prompted farmers to delay reporting, while they tried in vain to cure the ailing birds, Lee said.
“I believe that after learning this painful lesson, poultry farmers will notify the authorities at the first hint of an outbreak from now on,” he said.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/a ... 2003609114

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