China reports bird flu outbreak in eastern province

Other News Materials 16 December 2008 16:26 (UTC +04:00)

Workers have culled nearly 400,000 birds after an outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza among poultry in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.

The presence of the H5N1 bird flu virus in dead birds was confirmed Monday in Jiangsu's Dongtai city and neighbouring Hai'an county, the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

A total of 377,000 birds were culled in Dongtai and Hai'an, while workers had quarantined the infected areas and were disinfecting farms, the ministry said.

The report did not say when the bird flu outbreak began.

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

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 the last five years.

China has also reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) 30 human infections with H5N1, including 20 deaths, since 2003, reported dpa.