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Bird Flu Outbreak in North China Under Control
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An outbreak of bird flu in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region last week has been put under control and no human infection was reported, according to the regional government.

As of zero hour of October 2, no new deaths of poultry and no human case of bird flu were reported, a regional government spokesman said on Monday.

Nearly 1,000 chickens and ducks reportedly died suddenly in a poultry farm in Xincheng village of Jiuyuan District of Baotou city on September 27. The national avian influenza laboratory later confirmed that the H5N1 virus was found in samples of the dead poultry in Xincheng village.

Zhang Shaolin, owner of the farm, and his wife bought some 5,400 chickens and ducks from August 21 to September 20 from other places of the county.

The couple found more than 70 chickens and ducks dead in the evening of September 20.

Dead chickens and ducks were also found in the following days and the death toll rose to 985 as of September 27 when the couple reported the case to the veterinarian station of Baotou city.

Baotou city veterinarian station later reported the case and sent samples of the dead poultry to the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Regional Animal Epidemic Disease Control Center and the national avian influenza laboratory.

Local agricultural department immediately quarantined the infected area. Zhang and his wife were also quarantined and people who had close contact with them were under observation.

To date, 17,616 chickens and ducks have been culled to control the outbreak.

A batch of bird flu vaccines allocated by the Ministry of Agriculture reached Baotou early Monday morning. All poultry in Jiuyuan District will be inoculated in the coming 10 days.

Investigation is being conducted to find where did Zhang bought these chickens and ducks and where did he sold the poultry.

China has reported nine outbreaks of bird flu in poultry this year, in northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, north China's Shanxi Province and Inner Mongolia, east China's Anhui Province, southwestern Guizhou and Sichuan provinces and the central province of Hunan.

(Xinhua News Agency October 3, 2006)

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