Avian Influenza Confirmed in Northwest China

CHINA - A Tibetan county in northwest China's Qinghai Province is culling poultry, disinfecting farms and banning outsiders from entering on 19 May, two days after an outbreak of H5N1 avian flu outbreak was confirmed among migratory birds.
calendar icon 20 May 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

An official disinfects a motorcycle in Gonghe County on 19 May 2009
Photo: Xinhua/ Hou Deqiang

Officials disinfect a car in Gonghe County, Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province on 19 May 2009
Photo: Xinhua/ Hou Deqiang

Altogether 121 migratory birds were found dead near the Genggahai Lake of Gonghe County in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Hainan on 8 May. They tested H5N1 positive at China's National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory on 17 May.

Gonghe County has confiscated 600 poultry and is disinfecting every farm to avoid infection, though no bird flu symptoms has been observed at any farm, a local government spokesman told Xinhua on 19 May.

In Tanggemu town, about 15 kilometres from the lake, a team of medical workers, disease control specialists and policemen were keeping watch on 19 May to disinfect every passing vehicle. Vehicles and personnel from outside Gonghe County were banned from entering.

Dukar, a farmer, said disease control authorities had taken away all chickens in his neighbourhood.

"Officials visited every house to tell us 'do's and don'ts' on bird flu prevention."

Farmer Yul Lhathai said he found two dead sparrows near his home on 18 May. "But no one could tell for sure whether they died of bird flu."

At least 1,000 other migratory birds were still seen in the wetland of Gonghe County on 19 May.

The county has 133 hectares of wetland and is a major stopping-off point for migratory birds.

Further Reading

- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.
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