Migrating birds may have triggered the country's latest bird flu
outbreak in Dazhu County, southwest China's Sichuan
Province, a local veterinary official said yesterday.
"The cause of the outbreak is still under investigation. But it
is most likely to have been spread by migratory birds, since no
bird flu has been reported in other parts of Sichuan or neighboring
Chongqing Municipality," said Su Lin of the Sichuan Provincial
Department of Health.
Su, chief of the Emergency Response Office under the department,
said Dazhu is where migratory birds from north China such as white
cranes stop before flying further south to spend winter.
Dazhu County is nearly 400 kilometers east of provincial capital
Although most migratory birds from the north have left Sichuan
for the south, some remain and will not leave until Spring
Festival, which starts on January 29, said Su.
Su said that nobody has been infected with the H5N1 virus in
Dazhu, as the blood tests of all the 16 people in close contact
with the dead poultry were negative.
In Beijing, Chief Veterinary Officer Jia Youling yesterday said
the Ministry of Agriculture had sent an expert team to Dazhu to
guide control efforts.
In line with China's animal epidemic prevention regulations, the
epidemic site in Dazhu is being put under quarantine isolation for
a minimum of 21 days.
Jia said he believed the isolation would be lifted on schedule
in three weeks.
Between December 22 and 25, 1,800 chickens and ducks died in
three households in Yangjia Town's Liuyan Village. Most buyers were
calm about the situation in farm produce markets in Chengdu
yesterday, even though many famous Sichuan dishes contain
Liu Xiaorong, a high school teacher, said: "Dazhu is far from
Chengdu. And I believe the government can stop the spread of bird
A spokesperson from the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau of the
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government said yesterday
on the official website of the HKSAR Government that Hong Kong
would suspend imports of live poultry and poultry meat from
(China Daily January 5, 2006)