Hong Kong is closely monitoring H5N1 avian flu to ensure that it
will not affect the health of the public and the poultry, said Hong
Kong's health chief on Saturday.
York Chow, the secretary for health, welfare and food, told
reporters the monitoring of H5N1 avian flu among local bird
population has been strengthened after five dead birds were found
H5N1 positive this month.
He did not say whether the authority will close the pet birds
stalls because of the increasing risk of bird flu. He assured the
public that all the pet birds imported are from registered bird
farms and their health is guaranteed.
Chow said, "We have tested about 2,000 samples from pet bird
stalls last year and the results are negative."
He admitted it is difficult to monitor the health of wild birds
and there may be continuous dead birds tested H5N1 virus positive.
However, he said, "We have tested more than 1,000 wild birds so far
and only five of them are H5 positive."
The most important thing is to monitor the trend of the H5N1
within our bird population to ensure it would not be in contact
with human or poultry, he added.
(Xinhua News Agency January 21, 2007)