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Sichuan Officials Sacked over Bird Flu
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In Dazhu County in southwest China's Sichuan Province five officials found guilty of dereliction of duty in the prevention of the spread of bird flu have been removed from their posts.

They proved incompetent in responding to the outbreak of the province's first case of bird flu, according to a circular released recently by the Dazhu county government.

Between December 22-25, 1,800 chickens and ducks died in three households in Liuyan Village in Yangjia Town in Dazhu.

At 11:30 PM on December 24, a major poultry farmer surnamed Liu, reported the sudden death of many chickens and ducks on his farm to Liu Shengyu, chief of the Yangjia Town Animal Husbandry Station and Feng Renfu, a town government official.

A government spokesman said, however, that both ignored the reports and did not go to Liu's home to investigate the case. The official added that the guilty people also failed to report the incidents to leading officials in the town.

The circular added that Huang Jilong, deputy chief of the Dazhu County animal quarantine station, did not pay sufficient attention after learning of the deaths of poultry in three households in Liuyan Village.

He did not send staff to the village to verify the cases or report it to the county's animal husbandry bureau, the circular said.

Zou Gaoping, Party chief of Yangjia Town and Zeng Jing, chief of the Dazhu County Animal Husbandry Bureau, paid inadequate attention to the case after learning of the outbreak, the circular said.

The Ministry of Health announced in Beijing on January 3 that it had confirmed an H5N1 bird flu outbreak in Dazhu and the epidemic had been brought under control. In the wake of the first and only outbreak of bird flu in Dazhu three human cases were discovered in Sichuan

The first two occurred in January and both patients died. The third case, an 8-year-oild girl, was in April and she is recovering. She is receiving treatment for carditis, a symptom of bird flu, according to Su Lin, chief of the emergency response office of the Sichuan Provincial Department of Health.

(China Daily May 12, 2006)

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