Taiwan tightens monitoring measures after new avian flu cases

Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture said Friday that it has tightened monitoring measures in Tainan and Yilan, after new cases of avian influenza were confirmed in samples collected from migratory and other wild birds in wetlands in those two regions.

The council’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said it was confirmed on Thursday that subtypes of H7N7 and H5N3 viruses were found in fecal samples from migratory birds in Sihcao Wetland in southern Taiwan’s Tainan City, and subtypes of H7N7 and H7N8 viruses were found in fecal samples from wild birds in Shihchao Wetland in Yilan County, eastern Taiwan.

The bureau noted that it was the first time a subtype of the H7N8 virus was discovered in Taiwan since 2004, when the country implemented its avian influenza monitoring system.

The bureau has taken measures to disinfect the two wetlands and nearby poultry farms and strengthened monitoring measures for these areas, by taking samples for avian flu tests every month for three consecutive months, it said.

When no viruses are found, the tightened monitoring measures will be lifted, the bureau added.

Noting the recent outbreaks of avian flu cases in several European and Asian countries, the bureau urged the poultry industry to take precautions against the disease.

Taiwan is frequented by migratory birds and thus has a high risk of bird flu.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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