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Latest information on Avian Influenza  
 

Additional outbreaks of H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) were suspected and/or confirmed in Thailand. Human cases were also reported in Thailand and Viet am during this review period. FAO issued Recommendations on the Prevention, Control and Eradication of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Asia.

Country situation

Thailand: Suspected cases of HPAI infection were reported on 29/09/04 in native chickens in Roi Et Province. The Thai Ministry of Public Health announced the deaths of an 11 year old girl in Kamphaeng Phet Province on 12/09/04 and the mother eight days later. The mother was confirmed to have been infected with H5N1. The girl raised poultry at home, all of which died the previous month. However, the mother who lived in Bangkok had no contact with the affected chicken. The aunt and her six year old son who lived with the girl have been hospitalised and the aunt has been confirmed to be infected with HPAI. This family cluster of four cases is under investigation to determine whether human-to-human transmission has occurred. A nine-year-old girl in Phetchabun Province died on 02/10/04, was confirmed to have been infected by the H5N1 virus. She had helped pluck feathers from slaughtered chickens that her family had raised.

As at 30/09/04, 27 provinces are subject to the 21 day-surveillance period imposed by the Department of Livestock Development (DLD), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

(04/10/04, Source: Government, FAO, WHO, media website) Viet Nam: A new case of AI outbreak was reported in Hau Giang Province on 13/09/04 where more than 1,000 ducks were culled. Outbreaks were also reported in Quoc Oai, Ha Tay Province on 29/08/04 and in Long Bien market, Hanoi on 27/08/04. Flocks of 558 chickens and 242 ducks were destroyed. A 14-month-old boy from Ha Tay Province who was hospitalised in Thanh Tri District in Hanoi and died on 05/09/04, tested positive for AI. (30/09/04 Source: Government, FAO, media website).

Cambodia: Cambodia has detected a new outbreak in chickens. More than 600 chickens fell ill and started dying on 19/09/04 on a farm at Kien Svay District in Kandal Province, near the Cambodian capital. The farm had 4,500 one-month old chickens. All chicks were bought from Takhmao District in the same province. About 2,300 chickens died, and the remaining 2,200 birds were culled. The farm is located six kilometres east of Phnom Penh.

A quarantine zone has been set up in a three-kilometre radius around the infected area for at least 30 days. Testing by the Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh confirmed that the strain was H5N1. Preliminary investigations by Government authorities traced the disease back to a pond near the farm. The pond was frequented by wild birds. It is suspected that the farm's owner used water from the pond for the chickens. (23/09/04 Source: Government, FAO, media website).


Malaysia: Three chickens died in Jalan Bayam Guchil Village on 19/09/04, about six kilometres away from where the first HPAI outbreak was detected. Two more cases were found on 23/09/04 in Kelantan state which is under quarantine. The infection was detected in a total of 11 chickens in two villages, both within districts of Kelantan State.

All birds within a one-kilometre radius were culled as part of the control measures. Authorities have set up roadblocks at Kelantan state borders to ensure that the disease does not spread to other states.

Swallows were found dead on Layang-Layang Island, Spratlys, and five Malaysian sailors who fell ill with flu-like symptoms after coming across the dead swallows underwent tests on 24/09/04 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah state, Borneo Island. The sailors and samples from dead birds collected by the sailors tested negative to HPAI. Some commercially-bred swallows have been raised around Kota Baharu, the Kelantan Veterinary Services Department has been taking blood samples of the swallows since February to ensure the birds are free from AI infection and the results have been negative.

Malaysia sent a team of senior agriculture officials to Thailand in the week of 20 September for urgent talks on tightening border controls against the spread of HPAI. (25/09/04, Source: media website)

Indonesia: In Kranggan Harjo, Toroh district, Grobogan regency, Central Java province, deaths of 350 chickens were reported. Officials were prompted to urge further vaccinations. Tests on dead birds confirmed H5N1 strain on 29/09/04. (04/10/04, Source: media website)

South Africa: In Eastern Cape Province, near Fort Brown north of Grahamstown, 4,000 ostriches were culled on 21/09/04 on a farm where clinical cases of H5N2 infection were found. The farm had exchanged birds with farms in the area of the initial outbreak prior to the quarantine measures. (22/09/04, Source: media website).
 
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