A dead large-billed crow found on Hong Kong's outlying Lantau Island was confirmed to be H5N1 positive after testing for avian influenza, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said Tuesday.
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said the dead bird was collected at the Ancient Kiln Park on Lantau on Feb. 5, adding that the carcass was highly decomposed when found and required a series of confirmatory testing.
Large-billed crow is a common resident bird in Hong Kong, it added.
The department said there were no poultry farms within three kilometers of where the dead bird was found but authorities will continue to remain highly vigilant.
Information available at the website of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department showed that there had been 11 confirmed H5N1 cases since Jan. 29, with 9 cases resulting from tests on birds collected along Hong Kong's western coastline.
Gabriel Leung, Under Secretary for Food and Health said at a Legislative Council meeting that authorities had recently found 33 dead birds since Jan. 29.
The dead birds were mostly found at thinly populated places, he added.
Leung admitted it was unusual to find so many dead birds within a couple of days, adding that authorities were still conducting tests on 22 of the dead birds.
(Xinhua News Agency February 11, 2009)