Thailand detects first bird flu outbreak in almost a year
( dpa ) - Thailand has confirmed a fresh outbreak of avian influenza on a commercial chicken farm in the central province of Nakorn Sawan after almost a year of being bird-flu-free, authorities confirmed Thursday.
Authorities promised to complete culling up to 50,000 chickens on four commercial farms in Chumsaeng district, Nakorn Sawan, 220 kilometres north of Bangkok, after laboratory tests confirmed that the recent deaths of 1,000 fowls on one of the farms was due to the H5N1 virus.
"I am confident that the Livestock Department and local authorities can handle the situation," said Livestock Department director general Sakchai Sriboonsue.
Thailand, one of several South-East Asian nations to be hard hit by the bird flu epidemic in 2004 to 2005, has not reported an outbreak of the disease for more than 10 months.
The virus has undermined Thailand's once booming exports of uncooked frozen chicken meat. Millions of fowl have been culled in Thailand since 2004, and at least 17 people have died after contracting the virus from birds.
Avian influenza cases have been reported among birds in 60 countries over the past four years. Most of the 219 human deaths from the disease since 2003 have been reported in Asia with the highest number of fatalities seen in Indonesia and Vietnam.
India on Wednesday reported a fresh outbreak of H5N1 on chicken farms in the eastern state of West Bengal.