China reports bird flu outbreak in south

Other News Materials 17 June 2008 17:10 (UTC +04:00)

China has confirmed a new outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza among poultry in the southern province of Guangdong, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.

A total of 3,873 ducks died from the virus in Guangdong's Yashan village and 17,127 more were culled, the government's official Xinhua news agency quoted the ministry as saying, reported dpa.

Tests confirmed the presence of the H5N1 virus in dead birds and emergency quarantine measures had brought the outbreak under control, the ministry said.

The agency said the ministry did not give the date when the outbreak was first reported.

Several more outbreaks of H5N1 bird flu were reported in poultry earlier this year in at least four other areas of China.

The H5N1 virus was also found in several Hong Kong poultry markets last week, leading to the slaughter of thousands of birds.

Experts have long warned that the virus might be far more widespread than reported in China, where dozens of outbreaks of H5N1 have been confirmed in poultry in the last five years.

China has also reported to the World Health Organisation 30 human infections with H5N1, including 20 deaths, since 2003.